T Nation

Pitcher Protocol


My little brother turns 16 in a month. He’s a JV-caliber pitcher for one of the best baseball schools in the state. He’s 6’2", 200 pounds, and frankly is a bit out of shape. His natural arm and size has him throwing low-80s mph. He’s turned a bit inconsisntent and fatigues easily and I can contribute that to his training and conditioning.

A big emphasis this summer is going to be on his throwing and training for that (throwing far, throwing weighted balls, throwing off the mound), but his overall level of fitness is lacking and is becoming a limiting factor for his pitching. The goal is to throw about 3 times a week, with two days of weight training and two days of conditioning.

What would you recommend as a protocol to follow? The balance and athletic attributes of your program is a perfect fit for him.


I should add he has trained with all the basic movement patterns over the last 2 years but has never prioritized getting stronger. It was more of maintenance work never progressing weight because of responsibilities to teams and taking some time off to give his body a break. He’s not playing for a team this summer, really just working by himself on his throwing/pitching, which gives him more time to effectively both become a better pitcher and improve his level of fitness, which may be his greatest limiting factor.

  1. Get stronger in basic lifts.
  2. Use different bodyweight movements for assistance.
  3. Use proper programming: for example, don’t do BBB or anything like that.
  4. Bar speed is KING.
  5. You must learn how to jump and throw - just talked with a baseball coach about this shit last week in this needed to be added into his athletes’ training.
  6. You need BALANCE when you program - that means all areas need to be accounted for (strength, conditioning, mobility/flexibility, recovery).

I can’t tell you “DO THIS”! since I don’t know your brother. I can tell you that I coached pitchers in 2002 or so and the changes were huge. Not just physically but mentally - these guys were some first rate studs.


He already does a lot of band-work for his arm, and a lot of mobility work for his spine and hips. I want to add Agile 8 as an everyday thing for him. The box jumps are good for hip/ankle mobility as well. I definitely want to balance the sport specific training, strength and conditioning.

The day after his first high-output throwing of the week he’ll squat. Something like 5’s PRO supersetted with pushups in-between. The day after his second high-output throwing of he week he’ll deadlift, doing lat-pulldowns in-between. The assistance on these days will probably just be held to some rows, landmine presses and some anti-rotation core work.