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How To Train Like An Olympic Pitcher

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(Photo courtesy of Team USA)

Monica Abbott and Ally Carda are members of one of the best pitching staffs in all of softball. The two elite pitchers are both set to compete for Team USA next summer at the Tokyo Olympics, where they will attempt to help the United States regain the gold medal in softball for the first time since 2004.

Before they take the mound for the U.S. at the 2020 Summer Games, both Abbott and Carda took some time to share their favorite training methods with Softball America.

For Abbott, being able to compete and train is all about consistency. The 2008 Olympic silver medalist credits the team of people she has behind her for her ability to maintain the workout routine she keeps on a daily basis, which involves a fair amount of cardio, so that she can sustain her endurance in the circle. She is also a firm believer in rest and recovery, which allows her to properly take care of her million-dollar left arm.

Abbott says: "Cardio is huge for a pitcher to be able to maintain speed and endurance. I love doing things like HIIT, cycling, interval training. I love anything explosive like cleans, squats, lunges and jumps. I balance that with pitching, as well, on a regular basis."

For Carda, who pitches, plays first base and also hits for Team USA, training is a vital aspect of her multidimensional game. The former UCLA star takes a lot of pride in the way she works out because she believes it gives her the confidence she needs on the field to know that she's put herself in the best possible position to succeed.

Carda says: "I do a lot of bike workouts. I actually like running, so I run. I do a lot of circuit stuff, too. I mix in some lifting with some explosive movements. I like to get my heart rate up and do things that compare to situations in games when I’m pitching. It’s hard to mimic what you feel in those pressure moments, so workouts when you get your heart rate up can help with that."

The 2020 Olympics for softball will begin on July 22, with the gold-medal game scheduled for July 28 in Japan.

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