The throwing motion is a very complicated skill that requires our muscles to be flexible but strength is also needed. Finding the optimal balance between these two opposing parts of the throwing motion is required. When one side of the pendulum is over-dominating, injuries occur.
- Follow the
Baseball Pitch Count Guidelines. USA
- Kids need to learn proper pitching mechanics and get them consistently reinforced.
- Avoid using a radar gun. Kids need to learn to throw strikes and change speed and location. You tell a kid to throw harder based on a gun that is all his mind will think of. Statistics show throwing hard every pitch is one of the variables of injury occurrence.
- Play another sport. Using different muscle groups in different ways will avoid the repetitious nature of abusing one movement.
- Do not throw when fatigued. Stats show injury rates increase by 3600% when athletes continue to pitch when physically fatigued. When they say they have nothing left (or even before), take them out.
- Do not throw a curveball until you can shave. Stresses placed on the shoulder and elbow too early lead to early injury.
- Do not pitch on overlapping teams. Communication amongst coaches, parents and players is a must. Ask your player if they have pitched for another team before you throw them. Rest them several days before a big tournament.
- Follow the
Baseball Pitch Count Guidelines (Yes I know I repeated it, follow it!). USA
Have your team well conditioned and mechanically sound. When the kid comes up to you and says “Put me in coach I’m ready to play”, you can smile and say “let’s go” with the utmost confidence because you prepared them well.
Chris Nawrocki, PT, MS, OCS
Chris leads our TAP program and further information can be found on our website at www.pt-cpr.com