Off season throwing for 12 year olds


#1

I know the advice for in-season is to throw almost every day to develop and to maintain arm strength and flexibility. I also know several months off with no throwing is desirable at this age (football takes care of that, no fall ball).
The question is, age specific for a 12 year old, how much throwing in the winter months of January and February is warranted? I was planning two days of throwing (progressive in volume) and other athletic activities the other days.
It seems like in the prepubescent years going much beyond 2 days of throwing may be over doing it. Could bump it up to 3, but I fear diminishing returns compared to other athletic gains at this age from doing other athletic activities Tons has been written about kids in the 14 year old range and older, but not as much for the younger kids. Thoughts appreciated.


#2

A large part of it is determined by where you are. If you’re in a location where either the weather is very cold in winter or there are no enclosed areas in which the kid can throw, a couple of months’ layoff might be a good idea; but if you’re in a warm climate or can find some enclosed area where one can be sure his heinie won’t freeze, then two or three days a week would not be considered excessive. Twenty or thirty minutes of just playing catch is certainly not too much, and it would help the kid keep his arm loose and flexible. Besides, he can use some of that time to develop his fastball and maybe work up a change.
I remember one year, after baseball season had ended, when Yankee pitcher David Cone and some friends and family went on a cruise. Then one morning a few people went to the upper deck of the cruise ship and found Cone and a catcher—possibly Jorge Posada—engrossed in a rousing game of catch! They were already getting ready for next season! 8) :slight_smile:


#3

I think your plan sounds reasonable - assuming your son doesn’t play querterback. :wink:


#4

I personally follow the thought process of throwing every day or nearly every day. This doesn’t mean pitching, but simply throwing as in a game of catch.
I believe that even for 12 year olds this can be productive to conditioning their arms for the season. I have always gone by feel. If the kid wants to throw let them throw. Even at 12, they know when their arm feels good and when it feels tired.
The key is that they need to know that it’s OK not to throw on a particular day if they just don’t feel right or their arm is tired.


#5

Weather permitting, I play catch with my son and daughter most days. We just chat about the day, go over any changes in plans for the family, talk about school, activities, talk about general offense and defense or positional situations…really whatever comes to mind. Serious throwing 2-3 times per week is plenty, but don’t eschew a game of catch for fear of overuse. Last baseball here was the end of October this year, so rest period is over and we’re back to work. Practiced blocking and framing in the garage yesterday after school :wink: