Velocity drop

My son is a 14u pitcher who never threw hard but who has in the last month seen a velocity drop which has taken him from (historically) a very good pitcher to a state now where it’s almost batting practice when he pitches.
He says he has no pain and outside of soreness awhile back in bicep which lasted day or two his only complaint physically is that he has felt tired at times when he has pitched recently.
His coach thinks he may be hurt and now my son says he’s afraid of getting hurt.
He has pitched regularly since 8 but hasn’t been overworked.
Can you just lose it? Could he have something wrong physically/ structurally and not feel pain?


First off you might want to take your son for a physical exam by your pediatrician. He/she might have suggestions as to why he feels tired at times when he pitches and also check for possible injury. Baring no injury as stated above and no mechanical changes, what conditioning did your son do during his in-season? Did he continue an in-season conditioning program consisting of dynamic warm ups, med ball work, band routine, throwing drills, throwing program, pitching drills, flat ground and bullpen work? What is his pre-game routine?

Give us some more details. If he didn’t do much work in-season, a good in-season program will help develop the necessary fitness and endurance to compete at the highest level.

Steve - EBP

As far as conditioning goes before every practice/ game they do dynamic warm up and throwing drills. He normally hasn’t done a lot of band work though he has started after the weakness started.
He throws bullpens but not regularly. We play 3-4 games a week and We never know exactly what game he would pitch in.
In prior years ( same team) basically same situation . We had 2-3 games a week scheduled but with weather sometimes it was 1 sometimes 5. The kids all threw before every game but in that case a lot of bullpen work was avoided in effort to not overtax anyone.
My son thrived under this same routine for the last 5 years.

He does need to get in better shape- the team worked on strength training this winter ( with professional ) but if my son is able to to get his arm back I am going to emphasize conditioning while doing band and working his legs.

At this point I don’t think we can avoid the doctor. Still no pain . He is either hurt bad or has a minor issue and is subconscious holding back.


I completely understand never knowing when a pitcher is going to pitch or even for that matter, when he is going to have a bullpen session. Unfortunately, this happens way too often. If you don’t know when he is going to pitch or have a bullpen then have an alternate plan in play. Some suggestions I have may help him stay focused and help develop the necessary fitness and endurance to help. I have used this formula in the past. Fell free to tweek it if needed.

Again, this is an in-season program. If your son is playing summer ball, this is still considered in-season. 2 days out of the week have him do a bodyweight workout. 3 days out of the week on non bodyweight workout days and without a bullpen schedule have him work on a good dynamic warm up, performance band routine, thoracic exercises, throwing program, and pitching drills which can be dry drills as well.
Finish with an arm care program
Steve - EBP

I’m wondering if this pitcher is suffering from “dead arm” which is a deficit situation in which the arm never gets a chance to recover. Does this pitcher play year round or does he get some time off each year?

Typical spring season ran from mid April to mid July.Then 6 week break
Then 6-7 weeks of fall ball early sept to mid October
No throwing to mid January. Some indoor throwing until early March
Then some practices and maybe couple scrimmages before season.

Over the years occasional mild soreness(bicep) first practice of fall and beginning of winter.
Over the years he has had a few games when his velocity was down and he seemed a little off but until now it never last for more than one game. He also never played on multiple teams.

Three months off from Oct to Jan should be sufficient. Any chance he might be going through a growth spurt?

Nothing crazy but he grew 3-4 inches since december. Going to doctor next week - will share outcome. Still no pain and he says arm feels little stronger but hard to tell because for now he is not going to let it fly until he either feels 100 percent and/ or sees the doctor.
We are just hoping nothing serious (as in not being able to throw for more than 4-6 weeks.

3-4" in about 5 months seems like a lot to me. Could be he just needs time for his strength to catch up to those longer levers. Note that growth plates are more vulnerable during growth spurts. It would be worth discussing all of this with the doctor.

Roger nailed it.

He may be suffering from “dead arm” that is directly caused from shoulder capsule Laxity of the Ligaments. This is caused by the throwing pathomechanic called miss alignment of the Humerus with the acromial (Shoulder) line that takes the Humerus and hyper horizontally abducting it where you see them pinch their Scapulas together at glove foot arrival.

When pitchers perform this way, they pull their Humerus back and around the scapula actually separating the shoulder and stretching the anterior ligaments. Now the first acceleration (rotational acceleration) phase starts where the now uncentered head of the Humerus is slid across its Fossa to the anterior (front) now stretching the posterior ligaments and worse with time perturbing the periphery of the Labrum and Biceps tendon insertion.
We are not done yet!
With the head of the Humerus now forwards the pitchers start their linear acceleration phase that slides the HoH back the other way again now perturbing the posterior Labrum and forcefully stretching the anterior ligaments again.

You don’t feel anything because Ligaments do not have pain receptors!

Eventually causing even more serious problems later.

Mitigation: keep the head of the Humerus centered in its glenoid cavity all the way from pendulum swing into arrival thru both acceleration phases and recovery.

So what’s the cure? Rest rehab ?

x rays and tests done and initial diagnosis is that his arm is lacking strength.MRI to follow- whatever it is looks like much more severe that I thought