Dodgers Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw Ready to Face Hitters with Insane Strength Training

Clayton Kershaw
Photo Credit: Instagram @claykershaw22

At just 27, Clayton Kershaw has become the second youngest active player to reach 100 wins. He is the most feared baseball pitcher on the planet, and no one comes close to him. He’s also the third Dodgers pitcher to make the All-Star team five years in a row.

A seven year, $215 million contract signed two months ago made Kershaw the richest pitcher and one of the wealthiest and most celebrated stars of baseball.

Clayton Kershaw’s Pregame Workout

Kershaw credits his success to strength training and his extensive and obsessive pregame workouts. He ensures that he has time for strength training before every game. Five hours before first pitch, Kershaw performs wall drills, where he softly short-hops the ball against the base of the wall, catching the ricochet over and over.

Advertisement

Four hours before first pitch, he joins his teammates in the clubhouse. Kershaw prefers not to talk, but instead just listens to the banter of his teammates; the Dodgers are used to this dynamic. Later, he heads to the trainer’s room for a nap.

After closely monitoring videos of the opposing hitters, Kershaw meets with catcher A.J. Ellis and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt to discuss tactics and strategize for the match.

Advertisement

Thirty minutes before the first pitch, he reportedly executes the following 34-pitch sequence:

  • 3 Fastballs (Catcher Standing)
  • 3 Fastballs (Middle)
  • 3 Fastballs (Either Side)
  • 3 Changeups (Away)
  • 1 Fastball (Inside)
  • 3 Curveballs (Middle)
  • 1 Fastball (Inside)
  • 3 Sliders (Middle)
  • 2 Fastballs (Inside)
  • 2 Fastballs (Away)
  • 2 Changeups
  • 1 Fastball (Inside)
  • 2 Curveballs
  • 1 Fastball (Inside)
  • 2 Sliders
  • 1 Fastball (Inside)
  • 1 Fastball (Away)

Kershaw times his warm-up so that the national anthem will play right in the middle of his routine. Eight minutes before the first pitch, he puts on his cap and gloves and enters the field with the catcher at his side.

Russell Martin, who played with Derek Jeter, sees a familiarity between the Yankees captain and Kershaw. “They’re not going to put blame anywhere else,” Martin says. “They believe they can make it happen every time. Kershaw truly believes he has what it takes to beat you. He believes he can beat you with his fastball. He believes he can beat you with his slider. He believes he can beat you with his curveball.”

Kershaw’s hard work and dedication helped him to achieve great success; but his passion and consistency have kept him on top of the baseball world. Let’s not forget his innate talent for pitching and love of fitness.


Sources
Clark, Z., “How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone,” Stack web site,
June 19, 2014; http://www.stack.com/a/clayton-kershaw-routine.
Olney, B., “Creative Control,” ESPN web site, March 20, 2014; http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10619342/creative-control-clayton-kershaw-abides-strict-code.