Parent warning

This was written on the ASMI forums (Written by rockinfire) and just too good not to share around…

This post is directed at all parents of HS pitchers:
Yesterday I saw the “upteenth” pitcher with elbow pain that has these issues:

  1. Has poor flexibility in his hips/legs
  2. Has fair core strength
  3. Has fair - poor balance
  4. Poor scapula (shoulder blade) stabilization/strength
  5. Decreased shoulder/rotator cuff strength
  6. Decreased hip strength
  7. Loss of internal rotation range of motion on his throwing side
  8. History of pain and problems for the past 2 years while playing travel baseball and high school baseball
  9. Does NO rotator cuff strengthening in his conditioning/strength training
  10. Does NO rotation strengthening
  11. Does not take at least 2-3 months away from baseball per year
  12. Displays decreased spinal extension.

I see these characteristics over and over and over again. These kids will go from shoulder pain to elbow pain back and forth, back and forth. Good kids that are getting poor advice, supervision, etc
In my opinion, here is why all of these issues (there are more, this is what is in the forefront of my thoughts this morning) are problematic:
Item #1 is a problem because if you have loss of flexibility in your lower extremities it translates increased forces to the arm
#2 Core strength is vital in athletic endeavors and is the base of strength/endurance
#3 Balance is important for both the stance leg (R leg for R hand pitcher) and the plant/lead leg to decrease energy expenditure, control location, and decrease chance for injury to the throwing arm
#4 Scapula stability is important to provide a stable base for the throwing shoulder and elbow
#5 Loss of strength here leads to increased loads on the shoulder and elbow which comprises the integrity of the structures of the joint leading to breakdown/injury
#6 The hips are the power generator for pitching. Loss of strength/endurance here is going to cause problems up the kinetic chain.
#7 The more they gain external rotation, they lose internal rotation as a season progresses. In medical terms it is called GIRD and it has been proven to cause breakdown as well. Google anything from Kevin Wilk and Dr James Andrews and you can read all about GIRD.
#8, #11 Ask Dr Andrews about this as well and he’ll tell you all about the countless surgeries he has done on kids from overuse
#9, #10 This young man has the same problem most HS pitchers have. Their “strength coach” is usually a football coach that has no clue what to give a baseball player. Find someone that understands the sport-specific needs of your child’s sport and get them on a regular program that provides specific strength for their chosen sport(s).
#12 If you can’t extend (back-bend) through your spine, you can’t reach back into external rotation as easily so you are going to evetually strain the elbow and/or shoulder leading to injury.

These a just a few things I regurlarly see in the clinic. The sad thing is that most, if not all, are entirely preventable. There are more issues such as kids having no idea how many pitches they throw in a particular night, weekend, week, etc. that will probably be brought up as a reply to this post that will be helpful to you as well.
Bottom line: Your son should NOT be throwing if he is complaining of elbow or shoulder joint pain. He needs to take several months off a year from throwing. He needs to be on a regular baseball flexibility/strength and conditioning routine that includes varied intensity depending on whether he is “in seaon/out of season”.
Just my opinion from what I see over and over that sure seems to be preventable

welcome to amateur baseball, where kids that have some talent are thrown till they can’t anymore and then you find another one. it’s a ton of effort to find out how and prepare to pitch properly. that requires time and knowledge. most would rather just pay you to tell them to lay off till it heals, then pay a physical therapist to put them on a program they will do until they get tired of it then they get to see you again.

am i describing what you are seeing. kind of like trying to teach students in public school that don’t want to learn. both are tough situations.

Hey Dusty, interesting post don’t you think?
It came from here;

The poster apparently runs a sports medicine clinic and he was reporting what he see’s presenting itself at his office…sort of a rant if you will because he sees it as mostly preventable by looking at those areas and developing a program to counter act the negative aspects and fortify the positive.
I find it hard to disagree, seemed pretty concise to me, adding what he mentioned about over pitching with it…of course somebody (Who doesn’t actually run a sports medicine clinic :lol: :lol: ) wanted to argue…but hey… thats what the idea behind forums are.

I coached several travel teams and other local teams and I always had the idea of making the experience last as long for my kid as I could. Watching the abuse heaped upon talented athletes made me search out ways to protect my kids arm. I was lucky enough to find the booklet that ASMI distributes called, “A Conditioning Program for Baseball Pitchers.” It addresses most of the problems listed by JD above. I absolutely believe that most lalented pitchers are put at great risk by well meaning fathers and coaches and some not very well meaning people. A carefully thought out conditioning program is a must. When you think about it what better investment is there than a preventative maintenance program like Tuff Cuff? It is Steve’s site right. 8)

Interesting because that’s how a major league bullpen is run–find the best guys and use them until they can’t do it any more. Joe Torre’s pretty good at this.

jd, i think he’s right on. the information is there to find, but i think it’s kind of like the problem with overweight children. we know it’s bad for them, we know how to prevent it, we just don’t want to expend the disciple and effort to do it. it hurts and takes effort.

they really abuse the good arms in d1 baseball. if you’re a pitching prospect, i think you are wise to sign and go see if you can pitch. they are a little better about not sacrificing for winning and developing arms in the minor leagues. the dodgers ordered their pitching staff in the minors that had the young martinez brothers and wettland to throw 80% or 90%fastballs in a ball or they would fire the manager. they lost over 100 games and the guys came out with low to mid 90s fastballs (you young pitchers wanting to find fastballs listening). everyone asks how to get the heater, this is how the big boys do it. and they train, train, train.

and half of them have a major arm problem at some time during their career,

On the same forum I asked about a new type of treatment I had heard about from an orthopedic surgeon, in essence, what it does is takes the persons own blood, seperate out the healing/rebuilding white blood cells and inject them directly into the injured area, now one of my beliefs is that by the time a kid gets to Dr. Andrews, he has had several injuries that have either poorly healed or not properly healed and the ucl tear…any number of injuries really, is the end result of this accumulation. It seems they’ve finally found an effective “healing” treatment (Outside of in the past where they would use steroids like cortisone to get rid of the inflammation), now they are actually using the players own platelets to cure the problem, this could very well mean a lessoning of these inflammatory type build up injuries and could very well make the TJ surgery a rare happening. The only place where they haven’t had real success with it is in labrum leisions, everything else has shown success.

Personally I think it one of the most exciting weapons for arm care since TJ was devised.

I agree college can be a grind, it’s why I advocate really studying where you want to go, it isn’t enough to just “go” to a major school, if you aren’t aware of the philosophy of the HC and PC you may be in the worst of all possible places…I also don’t think all minor league squads show the love and nurturing the Dodgers have always been known for, yes they’ve got a vested interest…but in many places it’s like a puppy mill and they pop out and use up what they need to get where they want.
I’d like to hear Stevens take on this…He lived both experiences.

Same thing happens in pro ball, unless you are drafted in the top 3 rounds (in which case, you’re literally baby-ed). I guess it’s just a fact of baseball life no matter what :frowning: but there are some things you can do to be successful … such as really focus on your training and preventative shoulder and elbow work, etc.

If this subject hasn’t been beaten to death, I don’t what has. And you’d think that enough -is - enough would saturate the ranks of every aspect of this sport … past, present and future, but it won’t. And that includes the professional game as well as the amateur ranks.

Although both share similarities in this regard - human ignorance, exclusive patronage, “gated community mentalities”, bragging rights, and the ever persuasive “let’s make a buck”, drive the nail of failure into the backs of too many youngsters.

So, let’s put it this way … …


Unless it’s your son or daughter, it’s no big deal… right?

Now before I get a hurricane of… “how dare you!” Just stop and think of the total picture, which you have no control over. It’s only you and your son or daughter, or the youngsters under your tutelage that you can make a difference with. You have no control over others and how they conduct themselves, nor do you and I have any control over the politics, patronage, “gated-community” mind-set, special interests, financial ups-n-downs of others.

Hence the disparity you and I see every day in this game.

When we have Instructional Leagues, right up before high school freshmen baseball - with no scoreboards, no win-n-loss horizons, right along side of regulation play, with the coaching talent side by side, then we can start to see an improvement in our sport for more to enjoy, and be healthier in the process. But, this is not going to happen. Oh there are such leagues, but not to any consequence.

Amateur baseball is feast or famine, just like the society it orbits in.

By the way, Steven’s remarks about pro ball are so “on the money”, I’m amazed that anyone would want their son to experience such a grind.

Coach B.

Matt McCarthy’s book “Odd man Out” offers a glimpse into the glamorous world of the mid to low draft pick. Well…not so glamorous actually. :roll:

While those types of stories are generally true (certainly not a glamorous life), many of the stories about certain individuals in that book are fabricated.

If this is so…then I would think a Yale graduate, a Harvard University Medical School Graduate and an intern at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, NYC would know better than to lie about real people in a non fiction book…You just can’t believe anything you read these days can you? :?:

If this is so…then I would think a Yale graduate, a Harvard University Medical School Graduate and an intern at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, NYC would know better than to lie about real people in a non fiction book…You just can’t believe anything you read these days can you? :?:[/quote]

Yeah, it’s pretty stupid on his part. The New York Times did some research and questioned many of his facts. There are also some players who openly questioned some facts and others who claimed they don’t even remember him.

Either way, as you mentioned Dino, it’s not always a smooth ride for those who aren’t “bonus babies.”

have to order dino’s book. might be a nice read.

Well factual or not at least as it relates to certain named players and managers it still rings true in its description of the general experience of Low A ball.

While not all of us know big league players most of us have associates who have played in the low to mid minors and they can vouch for the 17 hour bus trips, strange management styles, grueling schedule and food / hotel / play / travel routine.

At just the time players are finding out if they are a MLB prospect, most of their peers are marrying their high school or college sweethearts, settling into a career and starting a family. Absolutely the biggest roadblock to making it to MLB is being away from those you love and missing seeing your young children reach their milestones…first teeth, first words, first bike ride, etc.

Thinking , “I might just be waisting the best years of my life on the road.” has to be overcome by the straight “addiction” (that’s the only word I can describe it) to the game itself. When that ich is finally scratched most guys pack it up and go home or are sent packing by management. The sacrifices their families make may be the only thread that holds it together while they are there.

Sorry for the rambling…what were we talking about anyway???

Well said Dino

weren’t talking about me… :crazy:

I’m still trying to figure out why John got so fired up… :wink:

I think the “Book of Baker” could likely cover the subject…changing the names to protect to guilty.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]weren’t talking about me… :crazy:

I’m still trying to figure out why John got so fired up… :wink:

I think the “Book of Baker” could likely cover the subject…changing the names to protect to guilty.[/quote]
Would be a very thick book. But I’d pay big money for it. :wink:

We’re blessed that he’s able to give it to us a page at a time. A very rare privledge I hope the young guys on here get to understanding and appreciating even more. It is so great just how much is in what he posts, what a wonderful and colorful life he’s led.
Thanks Coach Baker :smiley: