At my 8 year old son's annual physical yesterday with our family doctor, who is also a sports medicine physician, the doctor used a chart of some sort labeled along the lines of "Youth Pitchers Speed and Distance: At-Risk Athletes ." My son throws at 57 mph fairly consistently and was classified in the "red zone' on the chart. He has only pitched on three occasions because we are protective. He mostly plays CF. While I am very protective of him and his arm, I was taken aback slightly when our doctor recommended that he refrain from pitching until he is 14 years old. The doctor told us that our son is in the highest risk category for overuse injuries and that if he hopes to use his strong arm in college or beyond, he needs to simply wait a few years for his turn on the mound.
Do you think this will become consistent guidance for high velocity, at-risk young throwers? What activities/programs can we promote with our son between 8-14 years old that will also help him when he does take the mound in a few years? Finally, is there any research being considered that may look at really young high-velocity throwers who will not pitch until much later versus those who begin pitching early, in terms of injury rates?