Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pitching warmup routine

It's a good idea to establish a regular routine before pitching in a game. Get the advice of a pitching coach and follow it before pitching.

Pitchers on the local Koufax team start with this warmup sequence:

Run, stretch, throw,
then warmup pitching in the bullpen with a catcher
and work on the game plan

Go over signals and figure out which pitches are working that day

Make sure that the next pitcher in the rotation has time to warm up an inning before they go into the game.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Avoid overuse injuries

A warning on overuse injuries for youths

Personal Health: A look at how some school-age competitors develop serious overuse injuries, and what can be done to protect the young athletes.
The New York Times
Just as warming weather brings millions of young athletes back onto sports fields, a major athletics association has renewed this warning: Some school-age competitors who are inadequately prepared, or improperly coached, continue to develop serious overuse injuries. Read More
National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement:
Prevention of Pediatric Overuse Injuries

"Proper training and conditioning, both before and during the season, may prevent overuse injuries," the athletic trainers' association said. The group recommended starting a fitness-improvement program at least two months before the sport's season begins.

Switch Pitching can help to prevent overuse injuries by alternating the use of throwing arms. For youth pitchers, throwing one inning left, then another right-handed can work well.

Slow pitching works against big hitters

Amazingly, slow pitching works well against big hitters. Slow pitching worked great for Jamie Moyer in the big  leagues, so it can also work well in youth leagues.

At a recent 13U tournament, the small guys locating slow pitches in the zone kept big hitters off balance and swinging early.

The big power pitchers over threw, hitting the backstop or bouncing the ball in front of the plate. No pitchers dominated the game, but the slow pitchers forced pop ups and easy ground balls to get hitters out without much effort.

Most hitters spend a lot of time practicing to hit the fast ball and don't spend much time working on hitting  slower pitches. In game situations, they slow down their swing trying to make contact with the slower pitch. Swinging a bat slowly will result in a weakly hit ground ball or popup for an easy out.

Remember to locate pitches in the strike zone. Work in some off speed pitches including the change-up. Rely on your fielders to make the outs. Keep moving the ball around the corners of the strike zone.

Throw low in the strikezone to induce grounders. Keep the hitter guessing by changing speed and location.