7 Baseball Pitching Tips For Those Who Long Toss In Cold Weather
I grew up in the Northeast where winters and cold weather can really put a hamper on one's pitching training, long tossing, off-season throwing and bullpens. For practices and general throwing, I tended to rely on 30 degrees or less, go inside ... 30 degrees or more, you can go outside.
I suggest 30 degrees because when you're throwing, there's always some element of your body that's exposed. It's mostly your throwing hand and your face, so it's important not to expose those parts of your body (especially your hand) to below freezing temps for too long.
However, performance gear has come a long way in the past 5 years so that with a little Under Armour Cold Gear (top and bottoms), you should be perfectly OK for a 20-45 minute throwing session. With your upper body clothing, the tighter the fit, the better because loose long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts and jackets cause "drag" in the air, which can actually slow down your arm and be counter productive.
Here are 7 baseball pitching tips to consider when throwing in cold weather:
1. You want to take care of your hands, especially your throwing hand. So I recommend using a heavy-duty moisturizer to prevent the cold from cracking your skin on your throwing hand on those really cold days. Maybe you don't have a problem with this, but it's worth considering if you've got dry hands already.
2. Don't wear a jacket when you throw. Wear it to warmup. But take it off when you're doing your 10-30 minutes of throwing. You can put it back on later.
3. If you're not sweating before you start throwing, you're not warmed up well enough. I know that in cold weather it's harder to work up a sweat. But that just means you have to work harder/longer to warm up.
4. Wear a hat (snow hat) to keep your head warm. If you're head's warm, it's easier to warm up and stay warm throughout your throwing session.
5. If you're throwing a bullpen, take it very easy to start out. Get a good feel for your pitches first (and, again, get a good sweat going) before you unleash your best stuff.
6. When you're done with your throwing, the sooner you can change your shirt, put on a jacket, put on winter gloves, and then eventually take a warm shower, the better. I always recommend bringing a second, dry shirt to change into when you're sweating in cold weather. If you're going to be standing around, wear gloves (or thinner batting gloves) to protect your hands.
7. Find a high school gym or a college gym to throw in instead. If you've got access to this resource, it can be a better option than throwing inside -- especially in snow and on those days when it's too cold to throw outside.