Pitch Smart this Year

As the high school season is underway and our younger teams are starting to ramp up, we wanted to send out a note to all our parents and pitchers about trying to be smart this year on the mound and do you best to stay healthy and strong all year.

Poor mechanics is one of the leading cause of major arm injuries, which strength & conditioning has a lot to do with as well. We’ve seen a jump in personal pitching coaches and pitching lessons, but not enough focus and emphasis on strength & conditioning. So make sure to maintain good core and lower half strength, while keeping the shoulder capsules strong with high rep tubing exercises and prone flies, and overall total body flexibility. We will send out some more information on that later.

Along with bad mechanics, overuse is another area to focus and keep and eye on this year. There has been some recent research and studies done and we wanted to post the recent guidelines and risk factors for arm health issues from Pitch Smart, part of USA Baseball and MLB.

We feel these guidelines are a good starting point for parents to help track their son’s work load this spring and summer. We especially like their recommendation of taking 2-3 months off completely from overhead throwing each year as the culture of youth baseball has transitioned into a year long endeavor.

Pitching Guidelines

AgeDaily Max PitchesRequired Rest (Pitches)
 0 Day 1 Days 2 Days 3 Days 4 Days
7-8 50 1-20 21-35 36-50 N/AN/A
9-10 75 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
11-12 85 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
13-14 95 1-20 21-35 36-50 51-65 66+
15-16 95 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
17-18 105 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+
19-22 120 1-30 31-45 46-60 61-75 76+

Risk Factors

  • Pitching While Fatigued
  • Throwing Too Many Innings over the Course of the Year
  • Not Taking Enough Time off from Baseball Every Year
  • Throwing Too Many Pitches and Not Getting Enough Rest
  • Pitching on Consecutive Days
  • Excessive Throwing When Not Pitching
  • Playing for Multiple Teams at the Same Time
  • Pitching With Injuries to Other Body Regions
  • Not Following Proper Strength and Conditioning Routines
  • Not Following Safe Practices While at Showcases
  • Throwing Curveballs and Sliders at a Young Age
  • Radar Gun Use

For more information and a great resource with lots of videos from top doctors and MLB pitchers, check out:
PitchSmart USA Baseball