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Friday, July 27, 2012

Throwing Guidelines

Kevin Barr        
Photo: Perfect Game

There is growing epidemic of injuries to the throwing arm and the number one risk factor is year round baseball. Pitch count guidelines will serve as the cornerstone of injury-prevention in youth baseball. The goal is to educate parents and coaches." -- Dr. James R. Andrews, M.D.

Throwing Guidelines

•  Develop & maintain proper throwing mechanics. Improper throwing mechanics increase force at shoulder & elbow.

•  Do NOT pitch with persistent shoulder or elbow pain. See medical professional if pain not resolved within 5 days.

•  Warm-Up to throw. Do NOT throw to Warm-Up

•  De-emphasize winning. High pitch counts & early use of breaking pitches to “win” increases injury risk.

•  Avoid year-round baseball. No throwing for 3 months between seasons to allow throwing-arm to recover.

•  Follow rest guidelines between outings.

•  Number of pitches more important than number of innings for determining rest.

•  Proper rest & recovery allows adaptation by muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, cartilage, & bone.

•  Follow maximum pitch count guidelines. Direct correlation between high pitch-counts & shoulder / elbow injuries.

•  Avoid throwing breaking pitches until 14-16 years old or until athlete begins shaving.

•  Ignore radar gun readings. Young pitchers overthrow to impress scouts, which increases risk of arm injuries.

•  Overthrowing pitches to gain velocity is mechanically inefficient & predisposes arm to injury.

•  Avoid pitching in multiple leagues.

•  Do NOT practice pitching after pitched game.

•  Do NOT copy mechanics or conditioning programs of MLB players.

•  Do NOT throw overweight or underweight baseballs, which alter throwing mechanics.

•  Avoid baseball pitching & football passing during same season. Baseball pitching & football passing require different throwing mechanics.

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