Absolutely. I’ve always held the opinion that the pitching demands on the human body requires a shutdown period of 2-3 months. There are many factors that convince me, in that regard. I’ve coached those that have, and those that have not, and the one’s that have taken that 2-3 months off, fair much better season after season.
The indicators to watch are at the very beginning of a new season. Some pitchers are very inventive about hiding early fatigue and related conditions - all because of they didn’t, or wouldn’t, take the time to allow their bodies to a rest period of 2-3 months. Young pitchers are very good at this - act like nothing is really wrong. I could usually spot the acting gig, you know - “nothing wrong here coach,” … “yep, just sailing along like I’m fresh as a daisy.”
Funny thing about those that pitch, and pitch seriously. It’s all about their ego. Ego is one of the things I look for in a hard nose. Ego is what drives a guy, I mean really drives a guy. “Give me the ball,” is the first thing out of their mouth, along with … " yeah, I got this." But on the flip side is everything that sits below that ego between the ears. That stuff isn’t so easy to convince. I especially get a kick out of watching guys who should have used that 2-3 months wisely. Off-season conditioning, a little R&R, a little mental holiday, even those that put on a little weight around the beltline have a much better chance of bouncing back into the swing of things.
There are two things generally that work for a man, then turn against him as he gets older - for pitchers anyway, and they are age and experience. Age works wonders as far as youth is concerned. Experience works wonders as a learning curve accumulates the ways-n-what-for. On the other hand, as a man gets older, the body usually takes time to catch up to the attitudes, wants and desires of what’s between the ears. Experience usually turns to a limited amount of “what’s left in the bag that works.”
I have found that those that take the time off to relax and rest, heal, reorganize, fair much better into their careers.
I’m not referring here in this posting to the ages of 10 through high school.