Every year I receive a handful of calls from concerned parents about their sons sore arm. The majority of the time they ask what could have happened to cause this and what they can avoid in the future to insure this doesn’t happen again.
There are many reasons why pitchers get sore arms, but the majority of the time it has to do with one of the following:
poor mechanics, overuse, lack of proper warm up and cool down, not being fit to pitch and lack of knowledge of how to take care of your arm.
I know we discuss proper mechanics a lot because they are so important to your success on the mound.
However, today I want to talk about overuse.
Now, before I get any further I want you to know that I’m not one of those who discourages pitchers to throw!
Some pitchers have great genetics andcan throw more than others.
The key to today’s email is knowing your own limitations. For those coaches and parents, you have to know how much your son can handle per week without putting his arm at risk of injury.
The reason I’m writing this today is because of a recent call I received about a young pitcher. He is a great little pitcher who has outstanding mechanics for his age.
However his Dad calls me and tells me his arm is sore.
After questioning his Dad about the past couple of weeks we found the problem. It doesn’t take an expert to figure out the problem either. Its obvious but so typical. The problem is overuse in a short period of time.
This time of year when All-Star teams are made, many of the pitchers are picked up on several teams. One city may have their All-Star games in Super League one week and city League the next.
Going back to this pitcher with a sore arm:
The point is this pitcher is good and 3 teams were interested in having him play for their All star teams. He played with two teams in one week. Both of which he pitched for. One game he pitched 3 innings and the next game two days later pitched a complete game. On top of that, he had a tryout for a team in the middle of the 3 innings he pitched and the complete game. Don’t forget all of the warm-up throwing he did with the team before each game and the throwing he did when he filled other positions when he wasn’t pitching. Each team played 4 games that week.
This is so typical this time of year. It’s the end of one season “summer ball” and the beginning of another “fall ball”. So there are tournaments and tryouts at the same time.
This pitcher ended up throwing one more time for a team he really wanted to pitch for that same week. The problem is he could only make it through half an inning before he said his arm was sore.
Regardless of how well this young pitcher conditions to pitch or how awesome his pitching mechanics are; that week of throwing was simply to much for him to handle.
Looking at a starting pitchers schedule at the Major League level. Do you think it would be too much for them to handle? I think so.
It’s not just the number of pitches he was throwing in the games. It was the constant throwing that entire week. With his warm up throws with the teams in practices and games that week, as well as the throwing required from playing other positions and the tryout (as a pitcher); who knows how many combined pitches and throws he had. He simply threw too much.
The good news; This kid is a stud and learned from the not so great experience.
As a pitcher, you know what your limits are! Make sure you tell an adult if your arm doesn’t feel right or you’ve had too much.
Parents and coaches, make sure you listen to your pitchers carefully. If they are squirming when they throw don’t keep them on the bump. Talk to them and make sure they stay healthy.
For an in depth look of how to stay fit to pitch, understand what a good throwing program looks like, learn great mechanics and more we highly recommend The Pitching Academy’s complete instructional series on sale today!