Chicago Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta, achieved his second career no-hitter recently and has caused a media and fan frenzy, surely inspiring young pitchers on little league fields across America to play out fantasies of their own “no-no’s.”
While a no-hitter makes for an exciting game, it’s important to remember that Arrieta is a well-conditioned athlete who has undergone training in proper form and technique to perform such a feat. Youth pitchers may not have enough physical development, muscle control or proper training to throw a curveball with good mechanics.
As baseball season gets into full swing, youth pitchers – and their parents – should heed these tips to prevent shoulder and elbow injuries:
- Learn proper pitching mechanics as early as possible.
- Watch for and respond to signs of fatigue during a game or practice.
- Avoid pitching more than 100 innings in a calendar year and pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
- No overhead throwing of any kind during the off-season (at least three months) in order to rest and recover.
- Follow these recommended pitch counts and days of rest from the MLB.
If a pitcher complains of pain in the elbow or shoulder, stop pitching immediately and rest until evaluated by a sports medicine physician.