weighted ball question

Hello,
I am the dad of a 10 year old. Last fall, I screwed up my shoulder and had surgery on it about a month ago. I have been going to physical therapy and they told that I can go back to playing softball. In PT, I have been throwing a weighted ball against a trampoline. They told me that I can play catch with my son. They also told me that playing catch with a weighted ball would help strengthen my shoulder.
My question is will it mess up my son’s shoulder/arm to play catch with a weighted ball? I am thinking of using something like a 6 or 7 oz. ball. I am thinking that catch with a weighted ball would both help my shoulder and help give my son more ball speed for normal throwing.
Note: I am only talking about playing catch, not pitching workouts.

thank you.

IMO it depends on the kid but it will likely have little or no effect that normal growth, development and throwing a 5 oz. ball wouldn’t account for.

The successful velocity training protocols that I’m aware of have an overload/strengthening component and an underload/arm speed development component. The idea is that the “arm” not only needs to be strengthened but taught to move faster as well. Throwing a weighted ball may strengthen the arm but it’s also teaching the arm to move slower while doing so.

The strengthening component generally involves protocols to strengthen both the front side accelerators and back side decelerators. One way to think of it is the front side muscles are the gas and the back side muscles are the brakes. It is generally believed that the brain in part of its role in protecting the body will not let the arm accelerate beyond the body’s ability to safely stop it. You wouldn’t put a Chevette braking system on a Corvette and in theory under reasonable conditions the brain won’t let that happen to the body.

That’s kind of the long road to my point which is the vast majority of youth ball players that I’ve seen have very poorly developed back side decelerators. Throwing a weighted ball would fall into the category of strengthening the front side accelerators and thus IMO it’s unlikely to have much effect on velocity without working on the other pieces of the puzzle. JMO

[quote=“rcspeed”]Hello,
I am the dad of a 10 year old. Last fall, I screwed up my shoulder and had surgery on it about a month ago. I have been going to physical therapy and they told that I can go back to playing softball. In PT, I have been throwing a weighted ball against a trampoline.[/quote]
How heavy is the weighted ball? At what distance have you been throwing the weighted ball?

Did they say what weight and distance to use?

As JP described, throwing a heavier ball only risks creating a muscle imbalance between acelerators and decelerators while also teaching the arm to move slower.

[quote]I am thinking that catch with a weighted ball would both help my shoulder and help give my son more ball speed for normal throwing.
Note: I am only talking about playing catch, not pitching workouts.

thank you.[/quote]

The NPA uses weighted balls for velocity training only after a pitcher has achieved a proper level of foundation fitness to eliminate imbalances, a proper level of joint stability, and a proper level of functional strength and flexibility. And the mechanics need to be in order as well. So, as you can see, weighted balls are used as a final optimization. The idea is to make sure the body is prepared for the stresses of overload/underload training before you pile on those stresses. I like this philosophy.

I have used weighted balls and I don’t like them. They aren’t a bad thing if used in moderation for rehabilitation purposes but I suggest limiting your sons use of these balls. BTW 6-7 ounces is pretty heavy for a ten year old 4 might be better if you do end up letting him throw them

I believe i saw it on this site… but I read a third party quoting Coop DeRenne (leading authority on under/over load training) that his advice was no weighted balls until the body is developed (16 yrs old biologically).

Did the comment refer to 4/5/6 ozs or just 8+ ozs? Not sure… we decided against that type of training if for no other reason than to error on the side of caution.