For the last article in this three part series, we wanted to share with you some information about throwing progressions and pitch counts. Instilling the importance a proper throwing progression in a young pitcher will carry with them for the rest of their career. Likewise, limiting the amount of pitches thrown can significantly prolong their career. It is our duty as coaches and parents to do what it best for our young athletes’ future, not for our present.
Whether your pitcher is warming up for a game or a short pitching session, he must have an appropriate throwing progression each time to ensure that his arm is completely warmed up. This includes a dynamic warm up before the throwing progression. Having a planned throwing progression not only allows the pitcher to completely warm up his arm and body, but it also allows him to “take a step back” and focus on his mechanics while creating a rock solid, consistent routine. The video below provides an example of an ideal, and thorough, throwing progression. Danny Pacha shows us his warm up in this 6-minute video:
In our first article, we talked about the most common injury amongst youth pitchers being caused from overuse. As mentioned before, injuries related to overuse are becoming more and more common. Therefore, it is wise to keep track of how much your pitcher is throwing in order to save that lightening bolt of an arm. This is the last part of our three part series on baseball pitching. To read our first two articles, please refer to our “News” page here. We’ve talked about precautionary tips and proper mechanics for baseball pitchers, now it’s time to talk about progressions and pitch counts!
You may already be aware of a limited pitch count for youth baseball pitchers; even if you are, please pass this around and make sure everyone that is working with your young pitcher is aware and on the same page! The below information on Youth Pitch Counts is from Little League Baseball online. This is a guide for young pitchers to look off of to make sure they are not throwing too much. The first table displays the amount of pitches, per age group that can be thrown in a game. The second table displays the number of rest days needed, per age group, per amount of pitches thrown. These limits must be strictly enforced by parents and coaches to help aid in arm health. If your child is experiencing any tightness in their arm, it may be wise to take additional rest days. Also, if your child is experiencing and pain, contact your doctor immediately.
Maximum Pitch Counts
|Age||Pitches per Game|
Rest Periods Required
|Ages 7-16||Ages 17-18||Required # of Rest Days After Pitching|
|61+||76+||3 calendar days|
|41-60||51-75||2 calendar days|
|21-40||26-50||1 calendar days|
We hope this information has been helpful to you in some way. Please contact us if you have any questions about any of the content you have seen in this, or any other articles we have published. It is our hope that all athletes have a long and healthy career.
As stated before, incorrect pitching mechanics and overusing a pitcher can be detrimental to their career. Focusing on mechanics first, in addition to keeping track of the number of pitches thrown, can help keep a pitcher’s arm healthy and extend their career. We encourage you to talk with one of our pitching coaches for more personalized information for your young pitcher, as well as stopping by and checking out the poster board created by Dr. Bollier. If your child is experiencing pain in their arm, please contact your doctor.
This article is broken into three parts to be featured in the three monthly newsletters: Preventative (November), Mechanics and Warning Signs (December), and Throwing Progressions and Pitch Counts (January). We hope you enjoy and take something from these articles. Please note that these are intended for general and basic information and are not the end all say all. We encourage parents and coaches to do research.
If you have any questions about this article or would like more information on baseball pitching, please contact Diamond Dreams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on throwing injuries or if you are interested in seeing a specialist at the University of Iowa, contact University of Sports Medicine 319-384-7070 or visit http://www.uisportsmed.com/