We get a lot of questions about what pitchers should do in the off season. Many ask whether they should take pitching lessons or rest completely for a few weeks or months. There are a lot of misconceptions about what pitchers should do immediately following the season. Many of these misconceptions are ineffective or may even be harmful. Let’s talk about off season training for pitchers and some general guidelines to help you keep achieving your goals.
Pitching Lessons: Off Season Training
First, let’s define what the off season is for. The off season is essential for letting wear and tear on the pitcher’s body heal and also building functional strength and skills. It’s a break from competition where the player can focus on other goals.
Unfortunately, a lot of players don’t get a lot of direction for the off season, especially youth pitching athletes. This can create some confusion on what to do. Some believe the off season is the time to rest. Others might think it’s time to focus on getting better. The reality is, for most players, it’s both. You need time to recover and let some of the wear and tear on the arm and body heal. However, you also need to prepare for the upcoming season.
Off season training for pitchers usually involves changing gears. During the season, you focus all your attention and intensity on competing against hitters. During the off season, most pitchers focus on improving functional strength and stamina while also allowing for recovery. Our pitching lessons offer insight and education for both off season training and recovery. This can help you hone your skills after baseball season ends.
Recovery requires three basic things: nutrition, hydration, and sleep. Our training program offers insight on how to prioritize these fundamentals for recovery. For example, we go over how to get plenty of nutrients from diet and supplements and understanding how much water and sleep your body needs for healing and recovery.
Also, we offer training lessons that you can add to your toolkit for success. Off season training includes exercises to help with warm up, arm care, mechanics, functional strength, flexibility, and nerve pathway patterning. This is all designed to help you recover, improve, and prepare for the upcoming season.
Remember, pitching on a mound is different from throwing. Pitching involves standing on the mound and using the unnatural slope to gain an advantage against the hitter. However, this slope can also put additional strain on the throwing arm. Throwing on flat ground, however, can help you maintain and increase your functional strength without that added stress from the slope of the mound. That’s why our off-season pitching instruction often includes flat ground throwing.
So, in some cases, you may need to take a rest from pitching, but in most cases you need to keep throwing year-round. This can help you with recovery after a long, hard season, but also help maintain your skills so you can improve them leading up to pre-season.
Pitching Instruction to Help You Achieve Your Potential
Looking for the ultimate program for pitchers to help achieve your goals for pitching skills, velocity, and control? Our team at National Pitching offers advanced coaching and guidance for pitchers of all ages to help them reach their potential. We offer science-backed, health-first instruction that pitchers can use throughout their careers for improving their skills. We offer many ways to get started in the program, such as training from pitching coaches near you, virtual training, and exclusive access to a constantly updated video library with lessons for pitching success. Get started today to learn how the National Pitching program can help you!