Poor mechanics may be the leading cause of injury since they put even more stress on an arm.

A poor overall body condition also adds additional stress to those fragile joints and surrounding tissue.

Here are some tips to help your son and/or daughter avoid serious injury and short-circuit a budding career even before it starts.

Pitch Count:
Little League imposes a six-inning rule, but if a pitcher is wild that total could reach 100 pitches in no time. That is way, way too many pitches. There are two types of pitch counts 1) a count that says if he were to throw any more pitches, a child’s arm would be in jeopardy 2) how many pitches the child can actually throw effectively. Remember, as a pitcher ties, mechanics often suffer and that’s when injuries occur.

Weight training and conditioning are vital for a pitcher, but just like in anything, it’s possible to overdo it. Remember to work the whole body. When you pitch you’re using everything from your feet to your brain. Most dominating pitchers are extremely strong in the lower body (legs, hips, trunk), it’s important to have a good base. Flexibility is obviously key so don’t forget to stretch.

Good mechanics will save the day and an arm. One area that is often overlooked is the wrist flick. When throwing a ball the wrist should naturally flick downward. When a pitcher is struggling it’s often because this motion has changed. Thus the terms, “pushing the ball,” “aiming the ball” or “shot putting the ball” all come into play. Not only does this effect a pitcher’s control, but more importantly, it causes more stress on the elbow and shoulder.

Don’t sacrifice today for tomorrow:

Probably the best thing for the father, son and coach to use is common sense. A win-at-all-costs attitude and society’s pressure are some of the largest contributors to the problem.

Little League is supposed to be fun and an opportunity to learn. Yes, everyone wants to win and they should try their best, but in the grand scheme of things, how important is it to win the 12-year-old title and never be able to play the game again?

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