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Pre-Game Warm-Ups

Jul 13, 2008
4
0
Upstate New York
I was looking for ideas regarding pre-game warm ups. My daughter is currently playing on a 16U travel team (fairly high level - high finish in last year's Pony Nationals; schedule filled with national qualifiers) and the coach has the players warm-up for 1 1/2 hours prior to games, even during tournaments (when time between games permits) and without regard to weather conditions (i.e. heat and humidity). My sense is the warm-ups should consist of warming up the muscles and mentally preparing for the competition. She is a young coach who is doing a nice job with the girls - but the length and intensity of the warm-up seems odd.

Could anyone who coaches provide some insights on your pre-game routine including exercise, drills, duration and focus/purpose?

Thank you.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,938
83
Dallas, Texas
You have to do what the coach tells her to do. How much is necessary? Who knows--it is "tradition" to do a 90 minute pre-game warm-up.

Our standing joke is that if was a 1 PM softball game, the kids needed to leave at 6 AM to get there for the 9 AM warm-up. If the game was at 8 AM, we might as well sleep in the car.
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
Warm-ups are designed to prepare the body physically and mentally to perform as well as prevent injuries. It is like rehersal for the real thing.

You will find warm-up that are anywhere from 5 minutes for adults in beer league (should not be called a warm-up imo), to 30 minutes for rec ball, to 45-90 minutes for travel ball to 90-120 minutes for college and international ball.

The length of the warm-up will depend on many factors: age, temperature, if you have already played today, what the players are used to, what is your objective, space available, etc.

So to answer your question, there are no real length. I would say for serious travel ball anywhere between 45 to 90 minutes seems to be the norm with the average probably being 60-75 minutes so that 90 minutes, while on the longer side, is not extreme.

What you do in a warm-up varies greatly. A typical warm-up will be something like this..

Get to the park, put cleats on, settle down for 5-10 minutes.
Jog/Get the body warm activities (soccer is an option) for 5-7 minutes.
Dynamic stretching/movements for 5-10 minutes
Sprints/agility type stuff for 2-5 minutes

Hitting & bunting stations / live pitching / front toss / side toss for 20-40 minutes (sometimes teams will just do a basic warm-up before hitting and complete their warm-up after the hitting)

Play catch / grounders with partners by positions for 5-10 minutes
Infield / Outfield warm-up for 5-10 minutes

Some teams will have team to do a full infield-outfield circuit for 5-7 minutes. Some teams will also do other things like pepper or other drill.

This is just really a sample but it is typical of what elite travel teams, college teams and international teams do for warm-up with every coach having their own preferences.

Be on the lookout, i am coming in the next 2-3 weeks with a brand new DVD on Dynamic Warm-up for Softball.

Marc
 
Jul 13, 2008
4
0
Upstate New York
Thanks for the replies. That's what I was looking for. The team does dynamics, live bunting, tee work, throwing and fielding. It seems like it's a pretty thorough warm-up.

Mark: What about playing 3 games in a day - would you do the same warm-up before each game or some modification before games two and three? (understanding time available between games is a factor) Let me ask this a different way - if you only had 45 minutes between games, what would your warm-up look like?

Slugger - I realize you need to do what the coach asks. What I was trying to get is perspective. I've been to all types of tournaments over the years and there never seems to be any consistency in what I see other than 1 1/2 hours is longer than what I've seen from 12U to 18U. One hour seems to be the norm from what I can tell. But I've seen teams do some very sloppy 1 hour warm-ups and others do very precise and focused 30 minute warm-ups. I guess it's the content of the warm-up that matters.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,938
83
Dallas, Texas
Backstop: One thing you need to keep in mind is that in travel ball coaches often use the pre-game warm up as a mini-practice. Often, that is the only time when the entire team can get together.

Ray
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,509
48
Tucson
An hour isn't enough, so if I say 1 hour and 15 minutes, 1 hour and 30 minutes isn't that far off. Are the girls ready to go, when they arrive or are they still fixing their hair and tying their shoes? I have seen that take 15 minutes with girls.

Boys don't need any hair time (usually).

Between games, I need the pitchers to have enough time (20-30 minutes) to warm up and everyone else to warm up their arms and legs and swing a bat.

Sometimes, there is 0 time for that, though.
 

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
My warm-up between games, especially if only have 45 minutes would be:

A few dynamic movements - 1-2 minutes to loosen up
Throwing - 2-3 minutes
Field grounders / flyballs (outfield) - 2-3 minutes
Dry Swings 1-2 minutes
Pepper if I got time

Warm-up would be 7-10 minutes max.
 

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Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,474
48
Mundelein, IL
On our team, we do an hour's warm-up. Jog and dynamic stretch first, then throwing, short distance to long. Next is hitting -- front toss with wiffle balls. When that's finished we do fly balls. By that time at a tournament we can usually get on the field so we finish with infield -- usually ground balls at the back of the infield skin. While position players are doing fly balls and ground balls, pitchers warm up.

Once we've played a game, on warm days we start out with hitting and work from there. Knock on wood we've been injury-free the last couple of years (since moving to dynamic warm-ups). On cold days we will add jogging, and stretching if necessary. Otherwise, after a one-hour warm up and a one to two hour game, we figure muscles are warm enough to go to the other drills -- starting lightly and building from there.
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
warm ups

Most teams we have been on since 10U has been a 90 minute warmup and between games and hour. Thats pretty consistant with the teams we have been on. We are supposed to be at the field 2 hours ahead so the girls have time to change their shoes, fix their hair, bathroom, etc. Run back to the car several times to get various items they have forgotten...etc. And my DD is obsessive about being on time so we are often there 30 minutes before that, you do not want to make my DD late to anything the ride over is just not worth it to either of us if she is late...I guess she could have worse obsessions
 
May 7, 2008
442
16
DFW
Here is a better question

How many of you do any kind of exercise or stretch AFTER the game? My guess is zero, but I feel its something that should be done. May save you and injury or two and keep your players more flexable.

Elliott.
 

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