In episode four of the @Topvelocity #pitchingtips show we discuss what you have to do to reach your top velocity even when your tired. You are not going to have your best stuff every time you go out to the mound. You mechanics can be off or you might just be tired, sore, or sick. It happens to everyone and it can be really frustrating to try and fix mid game. So, we will discuss some of the main things you need to focus on during or before the game to make sure you can still get to your top velocity.
Strategies to Throwing Hard When You Feel Lousy
Before game day it is important to know what you need to do to give yourself the best chance of feeling as close to 100% as you can. One of the biggest things is making sure that you have a good routine leading up to the game. Make sure your body is fully recovered so you can be as close to 100% as possible when game times comes a round. That means getting a good nights sleep, eating good and giving yourself time to recover from workouts. If you throw a lot in practice you might want to not throw before a game just to make sure you are fresh when you take the mound. We recommend trying to get a 8 or more hours of sleep a night. Eat a good dinner the night before with some good lean protein such as chicken, salmon lean beef etc. and eat lots of vegetables. It helps to think of your body as a race car. This would be like fueling your car up before a race. You don’t want to put junk fuel in your car so make sure your eating healthy.
It helps a lot to know what you do well when you are throwing at your best. This is where a 3x biomechanics analysis helps a lot. We can see what you do well in your biomechanics when you are throwing at a good velocity and what you need to work on when you don't have your best stuff. Once you learn what you do well it is important to really focus on hitting those attributes. For example, if you usually have an awesome drive leg, but you don’t feel like you have the energy that day. You need to recognize that before the game and spend some time working on your drive drills. Try to overemphasize your drive leg to get as much power out of it as you can.
The Secret to Throwing Hard When You Feel Lousy
Another thing you can do before the game is a Post Activation Potentiation routine or PAPs. Nolan Ryan did this in his career. He would workout before a game which would activate all of his muscle units and allow him to play in an enhanced state. We have a PAPs routine in the 3x velocity program, but you have to be careful and time it just right. If you mess up the timing you can just tire yourself out even more for the game. However, if it is an emergency you can perform some plyometrics before your game or between innings to try and get your lower half going.
In review, make sure you have a good routine throughout the whole week. Get good sleep, eat well and make sure you are giving your body time to recover from practice and work outs. If you can, get a 3x biomechanics analysis to find out what you do well when you have your best stuff and what goes wrong when you don’t. This will let you know what you need to focus on when your tired. If all else fails try a PAPs routine to try and get your lower half going. You can do this before the game or even during the game.