My son is coming back from an Olecranon stress fracture. Twice he rested it for 6-8 weeks, then started a throwing program to regain strength, only to re-injure it near the end of that throwing program. Late last week his doctor released him to start throwing again, but this time he wants him to work with an expert on pitching mechanics a few times early on, to make sure there are no mechanical issues that are causing these recurrences. Can anyone recommend someone who can work with us? We live in Dallas, so someone in Dallas - or at least in North Texas - would be great. Thanks.
The pitching coach who you select, should have a track record of working with a team of others, specifically oriented with working in a rehab environment.
These people - man or woman, aren’t cheap. Neither are the associates that this person works with as a team.
I highly recommend a collection of professionals that are accustomed to working within a pitcher specific rehab schedule. Members of this association, or training group, should include:
- Medical Specialist who understands the age group that your son is in, and the injury associated with your son
- Physical Therapist who also understands the age group that your son is in, and the injury associated with your son.
Your pitching coach is now the on site trainer and observer of your son’s progress and any tendencies that he develops or injury related conduct that he brings along as baggage from the past. This pitching coach should be the monitor and communicator with the medical specialist and the physical trainer - all of them working together to bring your son along and back into form.
Now here’s why I suggest the above:
Each of these people brings a talent that is so important for your son’s progress and good health. Alone, not one of them shares the expertise of the others in the link of your son’s training. So, the most important part of this collection, is your selection of your pitching coach. He/she, must be willing to share his/her observations with the others, without reservations or a test of personalities. There should be no one opinion over the other.
I know the recommendations that I’ve made are expensive - but, if you want your son to be healthy and progress the way you believe he should, I would suggest submitting my outline to your physician and discuss it.
My best wishes for your son’s speedy recovery and his baseball experience.
Thanks a lot for the advice.
Have you done any rehab work or just straight to throwing mechanics? Rather than a mechanical issue, maybe you are dealing with a physical limitation or imbalance in muscular development.
In your original post you state ‘then started a throwing program to regain strength’. So if I’m reading this right he pretty much went straight from doctor release to throwing?
Each time he did stretching and strength exercises while he was unable to throw, as prescribed by his doctor.
Any arm band or resistance band exercises that are specific to overhand throwers?
No, it was mostly core and lower body, and a little bit of stretching for his shoulder flexibility. He was supposed to completely rest his arm/elbow during the off time. Of course, he is supposed to do a full warmup before any throwing, including the rehab throwing program - and that involves band work.
Coach Baker has some really good input above. If you have the money, and more importantly access to those type of people/teams it can be very beneficial.
I do see this occasionally. Player has growth plate or stress issue, sits for x weeks doing nothing (as far as arm strength/conditioning goes) as they recover. Then the doc releases the patient and they literally head straight from the docs office to the mound.
It sounds to me like you guys rushed back to throwing a little too quickly. Anytime there is a break in throwing, whether it’s injury or just a shutdown break, there should be a slow ‘ramping’ period back into throwing. We always start arm band work approx 1 month before the player will be throwing. That is arm band work before they ever even touch a baseball. You also want to pay close attention to alignment during this period, especially after injury, to make sure other muscle groups didn’t develop faster than the ‘rested’ muscles.
Once the player begins throwing, full velocity should not be reached for at least couple of weeks. This is tough with kids sometimes b/c the first thing they want to do is see how hard they can throw. It’s better to start with short throwing/tossing sessions just getting things loosened up a few times a day. Gradually lengthen the sessions and slowly bring the velocity up. Focus HEAVILY on form and follow-through during this period. This is when you can really isolate any mechanical issues. Eventually your toss sessions will become long toss sessions ending in full velocity and possibly even into short/extended bullpen sessions.
The bottom line is the athlete has to learn to listen to their arm. It will tell them how it is feeling and how things should progress.
Both times the throwing programs started with easy throws at 30 feet. The distance increased about 10 feet every 3 or 4 days, and included off days throughout, so that after 8 weeks he was supposed to be out to 180 feet - still throwing easy, on an arc. In retrospect, I think he started throwing too hard halfway through the first rehab. His arm was feeling really good and he just started letting it fly. I REALLY wish I had reined him in at that point, but he seemed to be having fun throwing again and I didn’t want to rain on his parade. So, the first re-injury can probably be chalked up to “operator error” on our (my) part. Not sure what happened on the second rehab, other than that maybe the downtime wasn’t quite long enough. This time the downtime was a full 12 weeks, and we DEFINITELY won’t rush the throwing once he starts.
Get him on a solid arm band program after he is released. There are a couple of videos at the bottom of this page that will help you get pointed in a good direction. These should be done twice daily and before throwing, I’d suggest after throwing as well in your situation. http://jamzbandz.com/index.php/product/baseball-bandz/
When in his throwing program, I’d definitely push him to throw more, but keep the velocity down for a while.
With any training/coaching/activity after an injury, the most common missing link is the monitor of what’s going on.
Sure, throwing, banding, stretching and so forth is good stuff - when observed and tempered by some who knows what they’re doing and qualified to compliment said same.
At the point where fun stops and serious metered progress begins is a schedule of events, well timed and in content. Self designed workouts and practice is a sure fire way to be right back in the starting blocks. So as intimidating as the price tag can be at first - think of the long range of not paying for the same ground twice, even a third time.
On the other hand, if your son is marking time in this sport with borderline talent, comparted to others with no such injury and limitations, perhaps it’s time to evaluate where you and your son are and pace yourselves for opportunities later on.
If you’d like a detailed itinerary of what a coach with rehab work experience has to do … must do, I’ll PM you with those schedules, and a content in detail. I hesitate to post them here, because this kind of information is lengthy and in some ways, complex. .
Texas Baseball Ranch.