A Question of damage to growth plates of kids pitching arms.
Hi all – This is my first post. I’m a concerned dad of a 10 yr old soon to be 11. He first began house league last year and loved it. He was one of the team pitchers and in the league they are limited to 2 innings. The season ran from mid May to August. He played well enough to be spotted by some city AAA league for tryouts this year and looks like he’ll be on the team. He’s so enthused about it that he’s taken up training with push-ups, crunches, light dumbbells for shoulders, exercise bike, etc. It looks the schedule is a little heavier than the house league. After recently researching the WEB and reading a few postings here I have concerns about my son hurting his arm especially after reading Michael G. Marshall “Coaching Baseball Pitchers” who says:
“No pitcher with open growth plates should perform my wrist weight or iron ball exercises. If youth pitchers perform the wrist weight or iron ball exercises, then they will certainly cause trauma to their pitching arm. Even minor trauma can cause premature closure of the growth plates that permanently shortens their pitching arm. Major trauma can separate, avulse or fracture their medial epicondyle, deform the head or the radius or worse. I strongly recommend that until the growth plate of their medial epicondyle completely matures, no pitcher should practice pitching for more than two months per year, no pitcher should pitch competitively in games against opposing hitters until they are thirteen years old and no pitcher should pitch more than one inning per game twice a week.”
How much should I be concerned? How much should I limit his throwing and pitching? I read that in counting pitches be it a game or in practice it only when he’s throwing near his max that should be counted and limited, is that correct? Also what work-out program is appropriate?
Your help will be appreciated.