Hey everyone, I stumbled across this forum a little while ago and ghosted for a bit gaining great info. I’m at that point in my life where I get to watch my son play this game! He is an 8 year old travel player and actually pitchers pretty well, which raises the scary level for me. I keep a close eye on pitch counts, we ice and stress mechanics and doing it right more than anything. I’d like to use this as a hello and thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. Below is a link to a video of him throwing about a week ago.
Congratulations on getting to watch your son on the mound. It’s my favorite thing to do, too. I’m not qualified regarding his mechanics but his velocity is good for an 8-9 yo. My advice is to keep working on pounding the strike zone over all other things. My son is 15, and I still see most games are won by the kid that walks the fewest batters. Yes, sometimes the kid throwing strikes will get lit up, but overall will be most successful in the long run. Continue to watch the pitch counts and number of bullpens, especially as he starts to grow and mature. Mine lost a season due to injury even throwing fairly conservatively. Intervene on his behalf if he experiences pain, and have fun watching him grow.
He looks fine for his age. Just let him play and have fun for now. Be sure to not let him be overused. Arm injuries are rampant in youth pitchers, and, as per Dr. James Andrews, the damage starts in the early years. Major League Baseball, in conjunction with an Advisory Committee of the top sports orthopedic surgeons in America, has promulgated guidelines called Pitch Smart for youth pitchers designed to reduce their risk of injury. You might want your son to follow them closely.
Ice is a bit outdated, it can delay recovery. Do a little research and decide for yourself. Stay away from weighted balls and quick fixes. Main thing dont sacrifice his arm for a plastic trophy. Regarding pitch counts, keep in mind the actual number of throws in the inning…imagine doing 45 push ups in a row vs 3 sets of 15 with breaks in between. There is way more stress on the arm in a long inning vs same pitch count spead out over multiple innings. Not all pitch counts are equal. Anyway, enjoy watching your son!
Great tips! Thank you
+100 on everything you said… ice as treatment for anything other than treatment immediately after a trauma should be on the way out… it reduces swelling, but it also reduces blood flow, this increasing recovery time… It DOES help pain relief, but if an 8U arm hurts after throwing, they should stop throwing and go see a doctor not just ice it… One more thing… don’t be afraid to tell your kids coach that he’s pitched enough when he has, and if the coach has a problem with it, find a different team with a coach that cares more about the health of your kids arm…