I am the father of a 15 year old baseball pitcher, and I was wondering how many pitches per week he should throw during the offseason. Should he take any time off at some point during the winter or is it okay to throw straight through up to next season? He's 6'3" and throws approximately 75-80 mph. The baseball season runs from May through July, and he's not playing any other sports such as basketball this winter and spring. We were hoping to avoid any arm problems, and we didn't know how to best prepare his arm for the upcoming season.
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Nov 28, 2005 13:16:41 GMT -6
We recently completed a study comparing the patterns of high school pitchers who are healthy to those that have had surgery This study is now in press at The American Journal of Sports Medicine. Based on the data, it is recommended to avoid pitching competitively more than 8 months per year.
Your son's annual cycle should include a period of active rest. For all of the details of an annual program, consider buying the conditioning program for baseball pitchers booklet from ASMI. You can find a link on the home page of www.asmi.org.
I am considering attending a college showcase/clinic that advertises evaluations by coaches in my geographical area. However, I am almost fifteen years old and only in my freshman year in high school. I am 6"4" tall but have no idea what my pitch speeds are. I have been following the ASMI baseball pitchers conditioning program. Is there any harm in attending this showcase ? I'd like college coaches to get my name and see my face.
Post by Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. on Dec 25, 2005 14:31:09 GMT -6
Dino, Great question. There is definitely a risk of serious injury when participating in a showcase. The study mentioned above also showed that 18-year-old pitchers with no history of arm injury had participated in an average of 1 showcase in their life so far, while 18-year-old pitchers who have shoulder or elbow sugery had participated in an average of 4 showcases in their life so far.
Now, the study did not prove that the extra showcases caused the arm injuries. In truth, the pitchers who participated in more showcases also pitched more games per year and more months per year, so it's hard to decide the contribution of each factor to the injuries. However, there are certain aspects of some showcases that may cause it to be dangerous. Dr. Jim Andrews has shared stories with me of teenagers who come to him for surgery immediately after a showcase because of the showcase.
You need to decide if the reward is greater than the risk for your situation. If you do choose to go to a showcase, here are some things to avoid:
Going straight from off-season to throwing at full-effort without a pre-season to get your arm and body ready.
Trying to throw extra-hard to impress the scouts.
Trying to throw extra-hard because a radar gun is being used.
Too much throwing in a short period of time. For instance, high pitch-counts on consecutive days, pitching twice in one day, high number of throws without taking a break (like between innings).
Intentionally or unintentionally changing your pitching mechanics.