Little League Elbow and Shoulder

Fairfield National Little League asked me to speak to their coaches about elbow and throwing injuries. I offered them a few insights on frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement, and little leaguer’s elbow. I discussed progression and other variables that often cause some of these problems.

Attached I have the powerpoint and the throwing program from Dr. James Andrews. I would love any feedback. I get asked to speak at many of these events and want to make these presentations very applicable for coaches, please let me know of any areas of interests I should add.

Good stats about the control group and surgery group. It sort of goes along with what other doctors say about the maximum number of innings per year and months off guidelines as well as the benefits of playing other sports.

My son’s swim coach is very happy he decided to start competitive swimming in the fall and winter months. During his tryouts, his strokes were all wrong but he was still getting through the water quickly. In his first year in the pool and learning the proper swim strokes, he qualified for the Class A Championship meet, and he is now posting times better than many of the older kids. He spends about 2 hrs a day 4x per week with the coaches swimming the kids silly.

He is taking extra instruction right now in swimming two days a week. He is 13 years old, 5’4", 130 pounds and can do 20-22 pull ups at a time. He was five pounds heavier when he started swimming and could do 18 max pull ups–and this was a short 5 months ago.

At the baseball tryouts two weeks ago, when he took the mound for his 5 throws. All the other coaches stopped talking when they heard the ball pop the mitt on the first throw. (Understand that I told him to just groove it and not to overthrow since it was the first time throwing) No one said a word for his other four throws. They just stared at him. There was no gun available, but I can tell from watching that he’s throwing harder than last fall without having touched a baseball since early October.

Most of the other kids are really struggling to make the adjustment from 50’ to 60’6", while my son is throwing like there is no difference in the distances.

He can’t wait for the snow to be gone and to get outside again!


Great info. I’m obviously a huge advocate for becoming an athlete moreso than becoming a pitcher at the beginning. We want to have a massive pool of athletic or movement skills to pull from; THEN teach how to be a great pitcher or specify in one sport.

Just be careful with no real throwing and then jumping on a mound. In that post I attached a throwing program which would have you working out a bit of long toss before you go on a mound. Something you can “get away with” while he’s young, but as he gets bigger and stronger you will encounter problems and potential major setbacks.

I agree that throwing from a mound on day one is ill-advised. I have my son and the other pitchers throw from flat ground at least two weeks before their first split pen of half flat half mound. It’s also why I told him to take it easy for those 5 throws. Too much too early is a quick way to ruin a season.