Sorry if this is repetitive. Looked around, couldn't find the answer here.
The link to your long toss study no longer works. I was wondering where ASMI was on it as of today, June 2011? Seems like you were getting away from it but may have changed your position? I've had the opportunity to work with Rick Peterson of 3P, MLB, etc. privately and he is a big proponent of it. Just wanted the latest recommendations for long toss, especially in the 10-18 age group.
Also, what about shoulder maintenance? I played professionally for 17 yrs, had Dr. Andrews evaluate me after rotator & SLAP tears and Kevin Wilk consult me on a shoulder rehab. I know all the exercises. Are they ideal for kids? With weights? How much? What are ideal sets/reps?
I have two boys and have become involved in the travel ball scene. I'd like to get them and their teammates (and parents) ahead of the game in shoulder maintenance.
Right now I have my 11 yr old go through a basic routine but with just baseballs in his hands, making sure his scap is in proper position (pinched shoulder blades) while he is doing them.
“Just wanted the latest recommendations for long toss”
Why would anybody perform the ballistic portion of their interval training program off the mound? Be specific! Pitchers can perform maximally from the mound and it is much better to do so, giving you all the benefits of “sport specificity” and motor proficiency unlike Long toss where the mechanic is a totally different one in regards to Humeral/forearm timing, footwork and release angle.
“especially in the 10-18 age group.”
The recommendation would be for 10 to 16 year olds is, find out your sons biological age to proceed correctly! Their chronological age or the school grade they are in means nothing scientifically. At these biological ages all youth males have open growth plates to deal with. There is no reason to overstress those areas at these biological ages, it will make no difference in their velocity later as kids cannot train continuously and they atrophy as soon as they stop the training process. When your son turns biologically 16 all the growth plates in his elbows have solidified and no more growth is gained from this area but the large growth plate at the top of his humerus and wrists are still open until he is biologically 19. if he is a delayed maturer the growth plates mature even later.
Also, what about shoulder maintenance?
Youth pitchers should learn proper alignment mechanics first that has them lock their Humerus in line with their acromial line (the line running through the acromial tips of their shoulders) from the start of their pendulum swing all the way through their drive and finish and best performed with wrist weights and heavier resistance balls for no more than 60 days just before competitions to attain the most “sport specific “ workout that also allows then to train in motor skill also.
“I know all the exercises”
These exercises you know are most likely general and non-sport specific like all trainers teach that do not cover one of the most important exercise physiological tenets of “sport specificity”, yet they will tell you they are specific.
Are they ideal for kids?
General training techniques will teach them to perform general training techniques very well but will not cover their mechanical motion and neural switching in any way close to the rigorous ballistic mechanics of pitching with resistance.
Only the correct weights along with the actually performed mechanic has merit.
Youth pitchers should use no more than a couple of pounds for no more than 60 days a year with or at least a 120 day break. Teens should resistance train no more than 120 days just before competition Adults should train daily as long as they are athletes.
“What are ideal sets/reps?”
One set to exhaustion then move on to the next exercise, this way they will self calibrate to make the next physiological adjustments.
”I have two boys and have become involved in the travel ball scene.”
This is great for batters and field players but absolutely wrong for youth pitchers! In the last 15 years the injury rates in these players has risen 700 present and we are seeing injuries in them that used to be saved for adults.
“I'd like to get them and their teammates (and parents) ahead of the game in shoulder maintenance.”
Then compete in the spring only and do not let them pitch more than 2 innings once a week until they are 13 biological years old. If they reach 25 pitches in the first inning they do not get the next. If they start the next and reach 25 pitches they are done.
The key to shoulder health is proper mechanics and sport specific strength.
“making sure his scap is in proper position (pinched shoulder blades) while he is doing them.”
This position is what causes labrum and other shoulder problems not diminishes them!!! By scapular loading you have ensured that the head of the Humerus is pushed up against one side of the glenoid fossa then when they turn the corner the head of the Humerus then slides across to the other side like a mortar and pestle shredding the Labrum at the front then the back, this is why so many pitchers go down from this injury. This mechanic also ensures that they will learn how to sling their Humerus sideways because it is a centripetal imperative and forearm supination gateway causing other injurious problems.
The proper position is with the Humerus in line with the shoulders from start to finish allowing full 180 degree rotation of the shoulders rotational drive and not separated from shoulder deceleration where the Humerus comes down and across the chest ballistically as with most traditional centripetal mechanic pitchers.
Sorry for bursting your bubble here but I’m telling you the truth and as long as pathomechanics (pathos=injury) are in effect these problems will keep happening and I’m sick and tired of well meaning high level coaches passing their false information down to the youth levels exacerbating this problem. These problems need to stop! Ask Matsuzaka how that’s working out for him? Static Stretching has been found to be non-beneficial for athletes according to CDC and deminishes same day performance by 6 %.
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2011 1:45:20 GMT -6 by dirtberry
Youth pitchers should learn proper alignment mechanics first that has them lock their Humerus in line with their acromial line (the line running through the acromial tips of their shoulders) from the start of their pendulum swing all the way through their drive and finish
If this is so important, then why don't Sparks or Matzek do it?
You're killing your credibility by making claims that are so easy to refute.
Is there a chance you can send me that article on Long Toss as well. I am getting back into coaching 13-14 year olds and have some time indoors so I want to make sure I am passing along the most current information. Thank you very much.
Last Edit: Mar 13, 2012 15:41:26 GMT -6 by hermano21
“Dirtberry: It was never my understanding that long toss was for pitchers but rather for outfielders and general loosening up”
Proprioception is powerful, this learning response is real and one of the main sports physiological principles.
I cant begin to tell you how many pre-game infields I have been involved in and witnessed where the head coach has his outfielders perform high parabolic arc Long toss and then immediately take the pregame infield. Now the enthused coach hits the ball to the outfielders where the outfielders know they are supposed to throw it right through the cutoff mans raised arms so that if needed the cutoff man can handle the ball, only to see the ball take off with a lesser parabolic arc but still missing the cut off man and sometimes attaining high parabolic arc, then the coach now not so energetic and mentally exacerbated screams at the players when all along it is his own fault!!!! This happens with all infielders also and when a second baseman does it they call it the yips.
Dump the high parabolic arc long toss and perform maximal linear toss to better sport specifically perform what is actually and should be happening on the field in competition.
Dump the drop step behind, it over early rotates you out of position that leads to poor transition phase (Humeral/forearm outwards rotation) timing.
Perform a true Crow step in front, this timing allows your humerus and forearm to attain driveline height (top of head high, hand under the ball) completely intuitively with the transition timing arriving at the same time the glove arm foot plants.
Any form of ballistic maximal throwing including “long toss” will improve velocity but will diminish proprioception.
So for pitchers rather than waste your time long tossing the same time spent on the mound gives you much better motor unit contraction to relaxation sequences. Even if it is to an empty net!
Last Edit: Aug 13, 2012 17:07:53 GMT -6 by dirtberry
Hello, I have been around here for a little bit. I study pitchers and hitters every day to see what everyone does and also what they have in common. I have over 25 years in playing, coaching and now instructing. I repeatedly had parents ask me to start a training facility...well now I have.
Long toss program and findings are something I am interested in. I care more about a kid's health and preparing them for their future than I do getting an out, winning a game or making a ball move. I pay very close attention to the little things like facial expressions, ball spin, etc. to recognize possible pain or injury.
So I just want to arm myself with every possible bit of "good fact based information" that I can find. If there are any other articles that are available, I will take them as well. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to preserving kids' futures in this game. If you need my email address, let me know.