I’ve seen all of this happen too. The kids who throw hardest are considered to be the kids with the strongest arms and are asked to pitch the most. But they’re the ones who put the most stress on their immature skeletal systems. Those growth plates eventually give out.[/quote]
Is it imminent that hard throwing kids will end up with serious injuries? Does being protective reduce the risk, or is it just something that cannot be avoided?
My son throws very hard for his age (11U). There’s no comparative in our area for velocity either in the youth leagues/TT (12U and under) nor the Middles School ball, and he’s never been “gunned” to quantify what velocity he throws. Long toss is well over 200’. From 250’ out, he throws the ball back on two-hops. I coach for both (LL & MS) and am very aware of the talent level under 14U, and there’s no kid that comes close to his velocity in this age group (We’re not in Georgia, Texas, or So. Ca where every LL age kid throws in the mid 70’s. Here, 62 is fast.) :). He plays LL and one or two TT tournaments each year. So I’m very protective. Pitch count - daily, weekly and yearly - plenty of off-season rest, making sure the arm is properly warmed up before pitching, icing after wards, etc.
This year the weather has been cold and wet, so his throwing has been limited to playing catch, one 30-pitch bullpen session two weeks ago @ 75% velocity (on a warm day) and a 20-pitch simulated game yesterday, again at about 75% velocity. He should have another playing catch/light bullpen session and a 40-pitch bullpen session later this week. Then next week he’ll do the same thing: A two-inning simulated game, a light BP/playing catch session and a 40-pitch BP session. Then once the season starts, the routine remains the same, except a real game replaces the simulated game. I want to limit his pitches in the opening game to 36 pitches, then build up to 50 and finally 75 for a game. In summary, that’s his throwing schedule.
After yesterday’s 20-pitch simulated game, he had some soreness on the inside part of his elbow for his throwing arm. Cause for concern, or just pre-season soreness that goes away once he’s throwing regularly? He says he’s not throwing hard when he pitches, which I believe 'cause he throws much harder when playing catch. BTW, this is his 1st soreness in his arm.
Thanks for your comments.