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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Play Ball!

By Megan S. Willman

Raising a softball or baseball player? While coaches have a player’s best interests at heart, it’s critical for parents to be mindful of the potential danger of arm injury.

Not only can an eager player end up out for the season, but a significant injury can end a young career before it’s even started. Jay Sorg, owner of Jay Sorg Baseball Academy in New Albany, Indiana, says overuse is the number one culprit leading to arm injuries, especially with kids who play in multiple leagues.

Here are some "safe arm" guidelines:  

Guard from overuse
  • Adhere to proper pitch counts and days off from pitching (relative to pitches thrown) during the season.
  • Watch for fatigue and a breakdown in mechanics; good coaches will remove pitchers from the game when they see these signs, regardless of pitch count. 
  • Gradually build arm strength for the spring — at the start of the year — with a proper throwing program. 
  • Give your arm a rest in the off-season. 
  • Learn the proper throwing mechanics in order to take unnecessary stress off the shoulder and elbow. 
Work on flexibility, strength, and conditioning. 
  • Develop a wider range of motion to decrease injuries. 
  • Use proper techniques when strength-training. Incorrect form will produce injury. 
  • Build good core strength to prevent fatigue, which leads to mechanic breakdowns, which lead to injuries. 
Use common sense 
  • Use pain and fatigue as a guide. Muscle soreness is expected, but pain in your shoulder and elbow requires time off and a possible trip to a doctor. 
  • Take time off as needed. A little bit of prevention can save a season of injury.


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