Swim Training for Pitchers

Several weeks back Mark Crabtree wrote to ask me my thoughts on swimming in shorter bursts as a form of conditioning for pitchers? There are certainly much better alternatives. Pitching is a ballistic dynamic activity. Swimming is not. In addition the pitcher would have to be a pretty good swimmer to get enough out of the swimming. In addition the additional stress on the shoulder is not worth the risk. Power activities and intensity are the stimulus for improving and conditioning pitchers. Some water running would be good for recovery as well as some upper body large amplitude movements in chest deep water. One thing to watch in the water is the effect it has on the callus buildup on pitchers fingers. The water may soften the callus which could affect the movement of the ball. Another thought is that if the pitcher lives near the ocean surfing is great – the paddling is a great motion and the balance required is fantastic, still a bit of concern on the callus issue. To substitute for surfing I have always used the VASA Swim trainer with my pitchers. I noticed way back when I first started coaching that the kids who were the surfers excelled in the softball throw which was part the Presidents Physical fitness test then. I was talking to Rob Sleamaker about it, he is the inventor of the VASA (http://www.vasatrainer.com), so he sent me a VASA to use with the White Sox. The pitchers loved it. I put it into the program and varied the routine based on the time of the season. We got the advantages of surfing without the water. I actually use it many of my strength training programs.


Post a Comment

<< Home