so i’ve always thrown hard, even when i was young i had a very strong arm for my age… never had any arm injuries or anything like that… i was always one of those kids that could just pick-up a ball and start throwing hard and be good to go right away… never a need to stretch, air it out or anything like that… just start with light toss and gradually increase in intensity. As i got older after i pitched i would notice soreness afterwards, but nothing out of the ordinary…
but as i got older, perfected mechanics more, and started throwing harder than ever, i had a set back… after one bullpen side session, just throwing a mix of fastballs and change ups i noticed so unusual elbow pain… but i figured it was because it was my first bullpen session of the off season (this past December) so 4 or 5 days later i had another side session, and this one was bothered the whole 30 pitch duration by moderate elbow pain… but i worked through it… same thing, another 5 days later another side session, only this time i couldn’t even throw harder than 50% without SEVERE pain. Talked it over with the pitching coach and athletic trainer, tendinitis came to mind, so i saw my primary care and was prescribed anti inflammatorys and told to rest it a bit… so i did… but it didn’t get better.
some 2 weeks later i finally saw an orthopedist, and sure enough an MRI revealed a torn UCL… he could even see it on x-rays. Not wanting to jump right into surgery i tried to go the route of extensive rehab, PT 2 or 3 times a week, strengthening, stretching, you name it… thought i was doing well until April when throwing at high intensity (near 90% of my ability) off of a mound… felt a twinge of pain and the football player inside of me told me to keep going… sure enough next pitch it popped and all my rehab work was for nothing…
fast forward to where i am now, 15 days after tommy john surgery, and a longgg way from getting back up on the mound.
Why am i telling you this? So it doesn’t happen to you… i still even see it in my highschool… kids not taking care of their arms, and it drives me nuts now! Your arm is your life in this game, you’ve got to take care of it!
This is my new favorite saying:
Warm up to throw, don’t throw to warm up. It really is true… i’ve been through hell trying to get back, and the worst part is it could of all been prevented if i just took better care of my arm… don’t learn the hard way like i did, take my advice and take care of your arm!