Taking time off?


#1

Should a 14 year old take time off from throwing? He threw from Feb to Sept. No ball from Sept to March.


#2

Don’t you mean “time off from pitching”?
There’s a big difference. One can take time off from pitching, yes—but not from throwing. Many pitching coaches, past and present, say that one needs to keep throwing, as in playing catch, because that’s how one maintains arm strength and flexibility. Twenty to thirty minutes a day, you can get a good catcher, have him set up behind the plate, and play catch for that time—or, if you can’t find a catcher, mark off a strike zone on a wall and throw to that. But it’s important to keep throwing.
Let’s look at this way. A baby has to crawl before it can walk, and walk before it can run. A kid has to throw—and I really mean throw the bleep out of the ball—before he can even think about pitching. Now you say your kid has started pitching in Little League—all the more reason to keep throwing, so as not to lose what has been gained. So throw—and throw with intent—throw the bleep out of the ball, and then as spring approaches you can see about the pitching part of it. Good mechanics and balance are, of course, important. 8)


#3

Throwing is important. Throwing hard is important. Throwing and pitching are different. A ball player should do some kind of throwing nearly all year. I still recommend at least 45 consecutive days per year of no throwing a baseball. Everything else Zita is saying is spot-on, in my opinion.


#4

Why 45 days? What is that number based on?

I’ve never been able to keep the ball out of my kids hand for longer than two to three weeks tops.


#5

The 45 days, for you baseball scientists, is somewhat arbitrary and probably aimed at youth pitching, but is an amount of time that I feel allows focus on an alternate activity, allows time for rest and recovery of soft tissue, reduces the chance of and mitigates the effect of someone who may be getting mentally burned out, it allows kids time to realize there is more to life than baseball. It also can bring increased vigor to baseball once the player returns. Sometimes, a time away from something can bring clarity and focus leading to an enhanced progress gradient.


#6

Good answer.