This time of year is awesome! I love getting the calls from parents and coaches informing me that more pitchers are ready to get crankin!
There are a few things to be careful when pitchers begin throwing again.
The majority of pitchers arms feel amazing when they begin throwing in January. They’ve given their arms a well deserved rest and are anxious to get throwing again. However, when most youth pitchers start throwing they are tempted to throw much more than they should.
Here are a few guidelines to adhere to before you just show up at your first 2 or 3 day pitching camp for the year and hurt your arm.
1) Don’t just jump into long toss and bullpens early on.
2) Play light catch on flat ground for a couple weeks before stepping on the mound.
3) Every time you pick up the ball, make sure you are throwing correctly using proper throwing mechanics. Don’t just throw to throw. Pay attention to throwing with your entire body.
4) When you begin throwing bullpens, only throw 15-20 your first time and build up from there. Every pitcher is different as to how many pitches they can handle in a bullpen session. But it’s best to limit your throws in the beginning to allow your arm to build strength.
5) Before you pitch your first game of the season. I would recommend (like most teams do) having a few scrimmage games and throw just a few innings in each of those games before you pitch competitively. This way allows you to remember the other aspects of the game as well, like the very important mental side of pitching.
This time of year is critical for pitchers. Make sure you are warming up to throw and not throwing to warm up. Do everything you can to ensure you are throwing correctly. Apply these steps and I wish you the best success this year!
Your Friends in Baseball,
The Pitching Academy