As your child prepares for the spring baseball season, your first concern should be helping him or her prevent injury. Most injuries to pitchers come from three sources: overuse, poor throwing mechanics and improper conditioning. In fact, Little League baseball has become so concerned about youth pitching injuries that they have developed pitch count regulations to protect young arms. Varying with the age of the player, these regulations limit the number of pitches thrown in competition, the type of pitches allowed and the frequency of pitching. You can help your child by seeing that these regulations are followed.
More importantly, an age-appropriate conditioning program can prepare young athletes to compete more safely. We can develop a conditioning program that addresses core strength, agility and stamina, while providing enough variety to keep it fun.
Because most of a pitcher’s strength comes not from the shoulder but from the legs, we will recommend exercises to strengthen the leg muscles. Bulking up arm and shoulder muscles can actually be harmful to a young pitcher. Other exercises will address core muscles that lie deep within the body, distributing forces applied to the spine and keeping it stable so that the explosive power needed in pitching can be transferred to the upper body. These exercises should be started under professional direction because performing them correctly requires some coaching.
A complete conditioning program will supplement core strengthening with stretching and balance exercises to improve agility and cardiovascular workouts to increase stamina. We can design an exercise program for you, so you and your child can work out together. You will feel healthier, your child will stay motivated and you will spend quality time together.