When a client (usually a pitcher between the ages of 8-18) comes in for a first-time evaluation at Baseball Rebellion I have them warm up in their normal way they would on any given day. What I have observed has been both informative and concerning. A majority of the young pitchers (especially those who aren’t in high school yet) do a few light arm stretches and some arm circle. Some of them, if they have been playing on a competitive travel team, mix in some awkwardly done band exercises. In a few cases, the pitcher just looks at me with a confused look and says “I’m good”.
What this article aims to do is show youth players and their parents a basic warm-up routine for practice and games.
Pre-Practice/Game Warm Up
An Individual warm-up can be done before each practice and games as well. In the big leagues, you usually see a pitcher’s doing some sprints and extra stretches before they start their throwing progression. This is where you can individualize your own warm up before games if you know that you are the starter that day. Individual warm-up routines don’t have to be written in stone, they can be something that you work on and change. It is especially important for pitchers to warm up their bodies along with their arms. Here is Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer and how he gets ready for his games.
Bauer’s warm-up is not typical by professional starter pitcher’s standards but like I said it doesn’t have to be cookie cutter or written in stone. It just has to work for you. In this video, I will go through a warm-up example that works for both pitchers and position players. It is a full body warm-up and should be done before.
Below is an example of a workout day for a pitching specific player. The throwing progression and flat ground pitching can be modified to position players throws and batting practice. Coaches and parents should stress the importance of properly warming up before practice and games at a young age. Pushing routines at the youth level promotes discipline, self-control, and preparation for the player. Learning these traits help grow kids as individuals and team leaders.