A Pitching Workout to Help Game Success

pitching workout pyramid pitch bigger bottom smaller top

Coming up with creative and challenging pitching workouts that keep our pitchers focused and engaged isn’t easy, and yet it’s vital we do so to help our pitchers improve.

Whether you’re a pitching coach or not, this Pitching Pyramid Workout is easy to monitor and practice, and is sure to help your pitchers prepare for games.

Doing the same thing over and over might sound like something players need to do in order to improve, and while that’s technically true, the danger is that improvement only happens when the player’s mind is engaged. Doing the same thing over and over again causes boredom and boredom doesn’t help the mind stay engaged.

Skill improvement comes from practicing larger quantities of something, in this case specific pitches. But games require just the opposite from pitchers. Games force pitchers to throw one type of pitch, followed by another type of pitch and so forth – all the while demanding that each pitch moves and hits the target. That type of single-pitch precision isn’t something that large quantities of pitches teach a pitcher.

NOTE: The following pitching workout is one of many included in our eClinic 018: Pitching Workouts: College Edition. Another great eClinic to check out is eClinic 019: Pitching Workouts: Travelball &  High School Edition.

But fortunately, there is a type of workout that allows for both; a large quantity of a specific pitch and single-pitch precision, and it’s called Pyramid workouts. Pyramid workouts start with a large number of reps, say 5 of each pitch, followed by 4 of each pitch, then 3…until you get to 1 of each pitch, then back up to 5 of each pitch. In other words, the quantities start big and get little then start little and get big – like the shape of a pyramid.

And while I’ve don’t Pyramid workouts for years with pitchers, I’d always looked at them the same way, that is until I listened to a good pitching mind, Beverly Smith, Head Coach at University of South Carolina at one of the many clinics I’m fortunate to do throughout the year. Bev was talking on pitching workouts and was very creative with the concept. But, thanks to Bev for opening up my mind I now think of Pyramids differently and hopefully, you will too!

pitching workout pyramid pitch bigger bottom smaller top

Here’s how it works, you start at the bottom of the pyramid to the left and work your way up to the top. It means that you’ll be throwing 10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 pitches; Totaling a minimum of 55 total pitches. I say minimum because, depending on how many pitches your pitcher has, when she gets to 3 of each of her pitches, the count might get kind of high.

The term pyramid pitching comes from starting with a bigger quantity and getting smaller as you work your way up. In the case of this workout I call it the Whole Enchilada Pyramid because it covers everything, or, the whole enchilada. Plus, I LOVE enchiladas!

So, here’s how the Whole Enchilada Pyramid works:

  • 10, of your Worst Pitch
  • 9, Change Ups
  • 8, pitches you’d throw in a Bunt Situation
  • 7, pitches you’d throw with a Runner on 3rd & less than 2 Outs (a low pitch)
  • 6, Inside Pitches
  • 5, pitches that the Catcher gets to Pick
  • 4, Outside Pitches
  • 3, of every single one of your Pitches
  • 2, of your Best Pitches
  • 1, pitch with a 3 & 2 count

If the pitcher is older, her arm isn’t sore, and it’s early in the season then the pitcher can work her way back to 10 when she gets to 1, but only if she isn’t sore, tired or too young.

For more help with this topic, check out the following:

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