If you need to improve your pitching staff’s mental and physical toughness, try this competitive workout.
Combine conditioning, mental toughness, focus & accuracy all in this one workout.
Simply doing snaps and spins won’t help your pitchers win many games. Games challenge a pitcher’s ability to adjust, adapt, overcome and rise above. These are qualities that involve focus and resolve – focusing on herself instead of on the consequences or on her teammates, and the resolve to “get the job done”.
The whole concept of practicing your focus or even your competitiveness is something that too many of us leave out of pitching practice. Helping our pitchers practice these “vague” skills can be hard, but the good news is, it’s possible.
I’ve got a great workout that will help your pitchers practice paying attention to what they’re doing instead of being distracted (losing critical focus), while also helping them become familiar and comfortable with competition.
For those of you familiar with the terms “Blocked” and “Variable” workouts, this can fall into either category. It becomes “blocked” if you have your pitchers throw the same type of pitch over and over, and it becomes “variable” if the pitchers vary their pitches by the catchers calling pitches.
Here’s how it works:
- Have your pitchers practice in pairs with one catcher per pitcher.
- Pair #1 pitches while Pair #2 conditions. (planks, lunges, high knees, leg lifts…)
- Pair #1’s goal is to get 5 strikes while Pair #2 does their conditioning – pitcher and catcher. In fact, Pair #2 will condition until Pair #1 gets 5 strikes, however long that takes.
- In the picture shown here, Pair #1 is doing planks while Pair #2 pitches to get 5 strikes.
- When Pair #1 gets their 5 strikes, they switch and they do the conditioning while Pair #2 gets their 5 strikes.
- Repeat this 3-5 times based on the time you’ve got available that day.
You can make this harder by insisting that each pair must throw at least 2 changeups in their 5 strikes, and by making the other pair conditioning so the pair that’s pitching can see them!
You can make it a little easier by having your pitchers use the same to get their 5 strikes.
If you’re using this in your variable workout, then be sure to chart the number of strikes and balls for each pitcher and have a strike % winner for the day – the winner gets to remove 10 seconds for both her and her catcher the next time you do a conditioning drill like this.
For more ideas for Pitching Workouts, check out the following:
- Pitching Workouts: Travelball & High School Edition (eClinic)
- Pitching Workouts: College Edition (eClinic)