It can be easy to ignore all the wear and tear your child’s arm goes through when you are a spectator in the crowd. No pitcher wants to hear the words “Tommy John surgery,” and they especially don’t want to tear their UCL before entering high school. Here is a guide on how parents can prevent arm injuries in baseball.
Follow a Pitch Count
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for Little League coaches to push their players the extra mile when winning. Before instituting new rules and regulations, the best pitcher on the team might throw over 200 pitches in a week, which is something the finest players in the world don’t even do. Therefore, always keep track of your child’s pitch count. Overusing their arm might cause damage before it fully develops.
Strengthen Their Core and Lower Body
Most pitchers get their power from their lower body and their legs. It’s hard to gain velocity if you don’t have a strong core and lower body, making it essential to focus their workouts on those muscle groups. Concentrate solely on repetitions rather than weight to improve your child’s strength and conditioning. You don’t want them straining themselves, and no child needs to have a max lift because they are still growing.
Learn the Mechanics
Learning to lift a heavy object with your legs is a positive life lesson to prevent severe injuries. No matter what you’re doing, following the proper mechanics is a preventative measure to keep your muscles healthy and intact. Hence, teaching your child the appropriate mechanics will make their throwing motion feel fluid and effortless. This bypasses the violent torquing of the body that some children emulate when trying to throw the ball as hard as they can.
Essential off Days
Every professional baseball player requires some time off between games to rest their arm, so you can afford to do the same once your child completes a contest. If they are a true “seamhead” and want to play the game every day, take some batting practice or practice on defense instead. Making them a five-tool player will be more beneficial in the long run. Also, having a good quality baseball bat can help.
Have an Off-Season
It’s tempting to register your child in various leagues throughout the year. However, that’s not a sound strategy if you want to prevent burnout or protect against an injury. There needs to be an off-season for every player, meaning they don’t do baseball-related activities for multiple months. That doesn’t mean they cannot be active in other sports. In fact, that’s an excellent idea to keep their conditioning on point. But it helps when they rest their arm and elbow for an extended period.
Children can be stubborn. And even if their arm is hurting, they may tough it out to keep playing the game they love. That’s why it’s crucial to know how parents can prevent arm injuries in baseball because it’s best for their well-being.