10yo Mechanics, Elbow Now Sore

Hi guys, hoping somebody will comment on my son Ryan’s mechanics. I’d be interested to know if anyone sees any flaw that could be contributing to inner elbow pain. After his first outing of the year, after throwing 53 pitches, he came out of the game because he said him arm was sore. Two weeks later, he still has soreness but says it’s pretty minor.
I truly do not feel the cause is simply “overworking” his arm. I’d love to hear from anyone who can offer some advice. For now I’m not letting him throw at all except for very light, short tosses during infield and outfield practice.

Thanks!

The first thing I see is recoil of his arm at the end. In addition, he doe not pronate well. I would get the new Athletic Pitcher from PitchingCentral.com and learn the LM drills. I would also ddlo the Blackburn drills that you can find on Dan Blewitt;s website. Also check out Eric Cressey’s info on elbow pain.

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-1-functional-anatomy

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-2-pathology

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-3-throwing-injuries

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-4-protecting-pitchers

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-5-the-truth-about-tennis-elbow

http://ericcressey.com/understanding-elbow-pain-part-6-elbow-pain-in-lifters

honestly its his arm path… it is not whippy and loose like it must be… although he is 10 idk if that can be taught…

he really pushes his elbow in this delievery for sure…

I know it will be difficult but try and slow him down to a more controlled and relaxed motion. Then explode with his legs at the end. In the slow-mo video I noticed he twists his knee towards 2nd base attempting to generate power. Instead make sure his knee is straight up and down pointing in between 3rd base and the Shortstop(3rd base being ideal). If he wants more velocity without elbow pain he has to learn how to drive(explode) with his legs and hips. And remember no curveballs. Learn a good change up first! His future is to bright to be held up by elbow pains. Good Luck and dont forget to have some fun!

First thing I notice and the most striking is that he looks great till about :28 seconds when his drop (of the pitching arm) doesn’t continue the action in a circle all the way up into a postion where the ball is up and faced (nearly) toward 2nd base. I don’t like the terminology on this picture but his arm should continue in a circle ending in this position.

Sorry I couldn’t finish post earlier but I do see two other things that can affect the arm and soreness:

  1. at :30 seconds you will notice that even though he throws over the top his arm angle looks to be 1 to 8 or 9, this should be a 1 to 7, his arm rigtht now is ending up at his belt or even a little higher. His right wrist should end up just above the left knee with his thumb down. This will help also to help him getting a flat back.

  2. at :31 seconds you will notice how his right leg pulls off the rubber but then doesn’t continue over the top this hinders his ability to flatten his back and decelerate his arm speed. Inability to decelerate is more harmful than throwing hard I feel. You need core muscles and legs to slow the arm down quickly.

The last thing is, if your son still has swelling or soreness any more than 24 hours after pitching then he needs to be looked at by a Dr. there could be more things going on than just mechanical issues.

well he has a really bad inverted L which, controversally, can be linked to elbow pain, his arm when his foot lands isnt even above horizontal and this can cause the arm to externally rotate harder which can stress the elbow, you can try a more down out and up action with him, like halladay or derek lowe, where his arm is up and ready to throw in time, im not saying the L is whats causing it but it is a possiblity, also, a big thing i see, when his foot lands his weight is all forward, so theres nothing behind his throw which is leaving him all arm, keep his head behind his belly button until landing with more weight on his back leg, you can try the hershiser drill for this, he’ll get more body into it, good luck, he looks advanced for a 10 year old.

Guys, I just checked back in after all these great responses were posted. I’ll digest all the info and see what I may be able to apply. I already have a Doc appt. for this Wednesday and he’s had Xrays for the doc to review at that time. I hope I’m being overly cautious at this point. He told me after our tourney was over this weekend it’s been feeling much better. I let him play but limited his throwing and he hasn’t pitched for two weeks now.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice, I may come back and ask for clarification after I review the video again.

your should not left up your elbow first

thats why you got sore!!!

you should left up the ball first instead of your elbow

Well, saw the doc yesterday and there are no structural problems going on, just tendonitis. He wants to shut down throwing almost 100% for two weeks, so I’m going to let him play, but only 1st base and outfield with extremely limited throwing. We’re going to start on a better stretching and warmup routine, and use some of the suggestions you guys provided for increasing arm / core strength.

Then we need to start addressing a few mechanical issues. From what I understand from the suggestions given, I’m going to try to help him with 2 basic items to keep it simple. First, work on sweeping the arm down and around to get into the proper L position instead of trying to “lift” the ball there. Then get him to finish a little lower and looser, with the right leg coming over the top.

Other suggestions like slowing him down and getting him to lift his leg toward third / short are things he already knows he should do, but just gets away from sometimes.

Again, thanks for all the feedback. It’s killing him that he can’t throw right now, so maybe I’ll try to find a few things he can work on without actually throwing.

On stretching, look at stretches for Ulnar Tendon…there are some that really get the arm working well that my son has started using this year after he tweaked that tendon but now that he is using it, most of his other soreness and tenderness is gone too.

Just had an “oh crap” moment when I looked a little further into the comments you guys provided. The video of my 10 yo Ryan looks very similar (to me anyway) of video of Adam Wainwright posted by Chris O’leary that is illustrating the problems with the inverted v. He really stresses the problems associated with this motion. I wonder how much of Ryan’s elbow pain was caused by this potential mechanical flaw that I didn’t recognize earlier.

On the plus side, he’s almost back to feeling 100%, and our games have been rained out for another weekend. Hopefully by next Thursday he’ll feel fine to play 1st base.

Again, thanks to all for your thoughts.

Greg

Guys- here is another video from 1 year later of my now 11yo son. If you don’t mind, take a look and let me know if you still think he has the same issues. He ended up not pitching at all unitl a little in the Fall and felt fine. We are being extremely careful with the pre-season pitching this year. I’m hoping the mechanics are better too. It looks a little smoother to my eye, but I’m far from an expert. Anyway, thanks for all the pointers and we’ll take any feedback you might have.