As we inch closer to a new MLB season the nightly race to get home from work and school and get the family feed and off to practice youth baseball has begun. What a great time of year. I coached my son for 11 years all through little league up to high school. I enjoyed it a ton.
I tried to teach the players fundamental baseball and follow the league guidelines, but unfortunately youth sports injuries seem all to common. The area that I feel travel baseball coaches get in trouble with is pitching and the number of pitches the young kids should be throwing. I see the message boards where a coach has thrown an 11-year-old 120 pitches in a game not including the warm pitches before each inning or the warm-up before the game. The kids reach upwards of 150-200 pitches in that situation. That is unreal for that 11-year-old. I mean seriously it’s not game 7 of the World Series. It is a little league game.
Parents if your coach is doing this please please grab your son and run. If you continue to let your kid pitch those numbers it’s is likely as a teenager or young adult he will require “Tommy John” surgery because of the stress that was put on his UCL . The numbers for youth sports injuries have increased dramatically in the last 20 years as youth leagues and travel ball have become more and more competitive. Most if not all youth leagues have set recommendations on pitch limits for the kids. Remember when counting pitches thrown in a game say 50 that number doesn’t include (8) warm-ups before each inning or before the game usually about 30 or more. So if a pitcher throws 50 in the game for 4 innings 32 for warm-ups and 30 before the game he threw 112 pitches! That’s an incredible number of pitches. Below are the recommended pitch counts for youth league players.
If you are a coach please follow these guidelines or the ones set by your league so that we can stop some of the youth sports injuries putting these kids under the knife as teenagers.
Now the practice is over and it’s time to race home and get showers and to bed, we go because the night goes fast, and before we know it the night will be over and the sun will be up as we start all over again.
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