Our son pitches for Little League and we want to protect his arm in addition to the typical Pitch Count rules. Is a compression sleeve a good idea? Do they even make them for little guys? He is only 50 pounds but can really rip a baseball and often shuts down an inning pitching. Worried about his skinny little arm. Help please!
I’m not a Dr. or a PT but I wouldn’t think a compression sleeve would be necessary nor very helpful. I’d favor pitch count limits, proper rest, proper conditioning and proper mechanics. And don’t forget good nutrition and proper sleep.
I almost always wore long sleeve compression shirts (like Under Armour ColdGear in the early Spring and HeatGear in the Summer and Fall) when I pitched, even when the temps were in the 80s.
The single arm sleeves that you see today are generally designed for recovery after practices and games, and they’re noticeably tighter than the long sleeve compression shirts. I wouldn’t wear them to pitch, only after to recover.
Because there’s so many pauses between pitches and innings, anything that helps a pitcher keep the body temp up is helpful, in my opinion. And some studies show that compression is beneficial in reducing muscle vibration that occurs when muscles are activated–thereby allowing pitchers to possibly reduce fatigue and go deeper into games.
Love the moniker.
More important is making sure he throws with direct backspin. Many 8-9 year old players throw with slider like spin because they fail to keep the hand behind the ball. Teach him to have his hand behind the ball, Throw (not pitch) frequently and don’t pitch past the counts and he should be fine.
Compression sleeves also need to match the color of what the majority of the other players are wearing under their uniform shirts if the compression sleeve is visible and if he’s going to pitch with it on. He also can not have just one if it’s visible. By rule a pitcher’s sleeve lengths must be approximately the same on both arms. Many times batters complain about the distraction of these sleeves and the umpire would then make the pitcher remove them before being allowed to pitch.
Check with your league before investing in a compression sleeve to be sure you get something he will be allowed to use.