Looking for a way to mix a pitching workout into a live scrimmage situation, then try this.
The pitching pyramid scrimmage workout is a great way to blend a pitching workout into a live scrimmage.
Your pitchers pitch in games against real hitters yet spend most of their time practicing to only the catchers. Having your pitchers throw live to your own hitters can become a philosophical debate, or an actual benefit to both parties.
I fall on the side of seeing it as a huge benefit for the pitchers as long as there’s a specific purpose like starting on certain counts, specifying certain pitches to be thrown, or zones not to be thrown, or in this case, actually mixing in a bullpen workout.
Pitching pyramids are a type of workout that allow pitchers to taper their quantities of a certain pitch from 1 up to sometimes 5 and then back down to 1. The idea being that more reps allows the pitcher more opportunities to tweak the pitch, while fewer reps are much more game-like.
A pyramid workout I’ve been doing lately is to have the pitchers throw 2 of their best pitch to a location followed by 2 of their weakest pitch at an opposite location. Then 1 of their best pitch and location followed by 1 of their weakest to an opposite location. This helps them continue being strong at their most confident spot while also building up their weakness.
So I’ve taken this workout to a live scrimmage by doing what I call a pitching pyramid scrimmage workout. It works like this:
- Pitchers are throwing to hitters.
- Pitchers throw 2 of their Strong pitches to their Strong location, followed by 1 of their Weak pitches to their Weak location. But – in between each pitch – the pitcher throws a changeup.
- The pitchers do not tell the hitters what they’re doing, and, to keep the batters from picking up the pattern, the pitchers/catchers can alternate when they throw the changeup – either every other pitch, or back-to-back and then a fast pitch. This keeps the hitters from detecting the pattern.
It would look like this:
Option 1 (2 strong pitches, 1 weak pitch, changeup strictly every other pitch):
- 2 Strong pitches, changeup, 1 weak pitch, changeup, 2 strong pitches, changeup, 1 weak pitch, changeup…
Option 2 (2 strong pitches, 1 weak pitch, change up either between strong & weak or before and then after a pitch):
- 1st Strong Pitch (Rise up/in) – changeup – 2nd Strong Pitch (Rise up/in) – changeup – changeup – 1st Weak Pitch (Drop down/out) – 1st Strong Pitch (Rise up/in) – changeup – 2nd Strong Pitch – 1st Weak Pitch (Drop down/out) – changeup – 1st Strong Pitch….
The 2nd time through the hitting lineup have your pitchers change either both of their Strong & Weak pitches/zones, so they pick completely different Strong and Weak pitches/zones, or change just one of them (either the strong or the weak).
By making them alternate their changeup into the mix, it really forces them to throw this pitch and improve it. Plus, it’s a great way for hitters to get lots of looks at fast and slow pitches.
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