One question I often get asked by pitchers here at The Baseball Zone is "I have a practice the day before my next start - what should I do or avoid doing?" This is a great in-season baseball training question. I love when it is asked and will soon share the options that I give to them.
However, unfortunately I am not asked this question as often as I wish I was. So I have to go on the offensive and ask pitchers what THEY are doing the night before they are scheduled to take the mound - and the answer I sadly get most often is "NOTHING". Well in my opinion, that is an opportunity missed to get better for the next night and for the long term. There is often - at the heart of it - a "concern" for being "too tired" for the next night which is...well...kinda funny. We are not suggesting anyone climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro the day before, but simply takes the opportunity to put in productive work for both the short and long terms. You wanna get better? Then work at it. Don't get me wrong - I don't expect people to know this. That is why there are coaches and instructors - to help provide answers and guidance. But when you don't ask the question and assume you know the answer already, you are likely missing out on at the very least educating yourself on options for your own best path.
So back to the question of what to do the night before a scheduled outing, here are 4 options I would give to pitchers when they ask (and when they don't ask!):
1) Play productive catch: