14 and under Pitching bible

I thought we could talk about the dynamics of youth pitching, and the things they need to do to be successful. First: good mechanics are a necessity at this point. As their body gets bigger and they begin to pitch more, they need to have the mechanics to support the workload and develop further as a pitcher. 2. watch your pitchounts; there is no viable excuse for a 12 year old to throw more than 85 pitches in a ball game. Make sure the youngster recieves adequate rest as well, 2 days for 30-45 pitches, 45-60 3 days, 60+ 5 days. 3. Absolutely no breaking balls; they may seem like an appetizing offering to get ahead of kids at an early age, but being successful at age 10-14 really means nothing. They need to focus on fastball command, and in time they will learn to throw a breaking ball. 4. fastball command, being 10-14 and a strike thrower is an absolute good thing. Successful fastball command should bring success at a youthful age, and pave the way to success as the child gets older. 5. be careful with change-ups, a good change-up is thrown with the thumb down, and with the same arm action as a fastball, but because of the thumb down motion, it’s harmful for a 10-14 year old arm. They need to find a grip that allows them to slow the ball down without having to pronate or put any pressure on the elbow. If they throw a true change with the thumb down, they’re reallly risking a lot.

That was a post of biblical proportions.

Mechanics
Pitch counts
Breaking balls
Fastball Command
Change - Ups

Pitch count? -

What’s so especially harmful about 85 pitches? For instance, would it be different to pitch 84 pitches on a day that the temperature was 55 degrees F than on a day when it was 80 degrees F? Or how about the length or time and quality of the warm-up routine? None versus a well thought out plan? And what about the recovery rate of individual pitchers? How can one size fit all when it comes to adequate rest for individual youths with varying degrees of maturity but similar age? What is adequate rest defined as on a chart? After all, we have no clue what the kid did before he got to the field and after he left. What about the intensity of the pitches? Or the relative harmfulness of each individual’s mechanical form? And then remember that when youth coaches are given a guideline, it mentions none of these other things.

Pitch counts have more potential to injure youth pitchers than they do protect their arms.

There, I poured the gasoline. You can light the fire.

By no means are these absolutes, but they’re just overall safety parameters. Basically, I’m not saying these need to be followed to a t because every kid is different, but I’m trying to set a standard somewhere where kids can be safe and not fall prey to a win-happy coach or parent. 85 is just the standard, weather conditions aren’t accounted for. I played my prep ball in Arizona, so trust me when I say I understand the value of weather. I doubt any of you have ever tossed 120 pitches in 120 degree heat. I appreciate your input, but there’s no reason to take things out of context and be so confrontational.

I think Dino was just pointing out that things ain’t so simple - there’s lots of variables in the equation.

In that same vein…

Is there a problem with a change-up thrown with a slight amount of pronation versus trying to max out the pronation? I personally think pronation to one’s comfort level is fine if you also limit the number thrown to about 20-25% of your pitch total. (There’s yet another variable. :wink: )

Roger, that’s your discretion. If you’re willing to take a chance with a child’s elbow an can back up your points with factual evidence, I apologize. However, I feel you’re wrong here. Better safe than sorry :wink:

No need to apologize - we’re just discussing stuff here. But I do feel I should point out that you’ve posted just as much factual evidence as I have. :wink:

Can you explain what is the mechanism of injury from throwing a pronated change?

Honestly, I cannot. I’m going off of what pitching coaches have told me my entire life. I know my rookie ball coach back in Missoula asked me to throw a lot of pronated changes during bullpen sessions because pronation can reduce pressure put on the shoulder.

[quote=“TheAce22”]
5. be careful with change-ups, a good change-up is thrown with the thumb down, and with the same arm action as a fastball, but because of the thumb down motion, it’s harmful for a 10-14 year old arm. They need to find a grip that allows them to slow the ball down without having to pronate or put any pressure on the elbow. If they throw a true change with the thumb down, they’re reallly risking a lot.[/quote]

Can you explain further on thumb down? Is this in reference to the release point?

When you’re releasing the ball, you release it with your thumb pointing down at the ground; it’s called pronating