This week at Narrow Path Sports I am going to give you an inside look at my routine as a starting pitcher. My desire with this post is that the insight that I share will help you solidify your routine or get you to ask questions about your routine. What I do is not the only answer or way to prepare but it is something that I believe has given me my longevity and keeps me going.
Day 1 – Start day.
We will begin with game day. Our previous 4 built us up to go out there and eat innings and put our team in a position to win a game. I have an old school mentality about the game and I love when a starting pitcher goes out there and competes for 7 plus innings of baseball. Seeing a starting pitcher go out and face the lineup the 4 th time has become more and more of a rarity. Regardless on the analytics, I appreciate when the managers could judge that the starter has been dominating and let him go until he thinks it is best to use the bullpen. In my routine, I will eat a good meal around 12-1 pm that will fuel me through my game which usually starts at 6:30-7pm. I will then report to the field a few hours before first pitch. I will look at the roster to get a game plan for the line up and see if I have any history with certain guys. The chess match of pitching against someone 20-40 + times makes the game even more fun. My warmup takes around 30-45 minuets. The athletes at Narrow Path Sports go through a condensed version of this when getting instruction by me. Next is playing catch and mound work to get ready for the game. I typically throw 30 or so pitches in my bullpen before a start. This leads to the game time where it is time to compete until the manager decides you are done. I personally do not consider myself to have had a good start unless I pitch 6 or more innings. Following my start that evening I do some gentle stretching to help ease the soreness. I have never been fan of ice because I personally think it impairs recovery.
Day 2 – 1 st day post start
Here is where the work really takes place. One of the things I still do and recommend post start is a nice steady state cardio flush. The pace needs to be at just the aerobic level, and I don’t want the heart rate too high. My body feels immensely better after allowing my heart and lungs to pump and my body to sweat. Having a solid aerobic base allows us to control our breathing when competing. Following that cardio session, I will get into my upper body lift. I like to give my legs a day before I build them back up. I will hit the major muscle groups and do some accessory shoulder movements to help stabilize myself again. Core work is a foundation of my in between start routine as well. I finish the day off with some light stretching or an easy yoga class. My throwing will just be a light game of catch to get my arm moving and work out any soreness.
Day 3 – 2 nd day post start
Today is leg day! Never skip leg day, as it is your base and strongest part of your body. Having strong legs is something I believe has kept me healthy all these years. I am building my body back up to where I used to be, and I strongly think it will help me back to a high level. I will add some good core work into this day as well. For conditioning today, I do some moderate distance build ups which primes me for day 3 which has sprint work. I will typically do some form of banded scapular and rotator work today. Throwing today will consist of a form of long toss, this is my day to stretch it out and work on carrying the ball.
Day 4 – 3 rd day post start
Plyometric and sprint day. Moving fast and powerfully is a key to throwing hard. Today is the day I will train these movements. I will also pair this with my bullpen work. 20–40-yard sprints, med ball throws, lateral bounds, speed ladder, and box jumps are just some examples of what today brings. My bullpen will typically be around 25-45 pitches depending on If there is anything I need to work on like tilt on my slider, fastball command, off-speed strike to ball or ball to strike shape, and change up consistency. I will add in a light stretch or yoga session at the end of the day as well.
Day 5 – 4 th day post start
I focus my energy on getting ready for game day which will be tomorrow. This will be a light movement day to make sure my body is feeling well and to address any residual tight spots. I will begin my preparation for what competition I am facing. My throwing program will be on the lighter side, but I will get out to 150-175 feet typically. I make sure my nutrition and rest are on point for tomorrow as well as these are key primers for competing.
I hope this insight has given you some things to think about in your own game or your sons’ game. As always, I welcome any questions or thoughts on my program, and I am always learning. This is a basic set up for me and it changes throughout the season. I will get into depth on certain aspects later in this year. I hope this spring is treating everyone well.