Pitching Bullpens: Why Throwing In 'Sets' Is Better Than All In A Row
If you've been following this blog, then you know I'm a big proponent of practicing how you play in games. That means ALWAYS throwing with a purpose. Always trying to hit your throwing partner in the chest or some other target, even when just having a light catch. It means always throwing with the right grip, getting your hips involved, stepping correctly, and getting a good follow through. You get the point.
But what about bullpens? How can we throw bullpens more effectively so that the work we do in practice will translate to games?
Try this: Instead of throwing 50 to 80 bullpen pitches in a row (you don't ever throw that many pitches in a row in games!), do it in "sets" of 12 to 15 pitches with a 3 to 5 minute break in between each set.
Those 12 to 15 pitches represent an efficient inning, which is something you should be striving for in games, and that rest period in between each set of 15 pitches more closely resembles how you actually pitch in a game. You can think of these sets as innings.
What types of things do you do to make practice make you better for games?