I was fortunate to sit down with Dr. James Leonard. Here is his response to that question:
Some general recommendations for preventing injuries in young throwers.
The first recommendation is to avoid throwing with a fatigued arm. Anytime the arm is feeling sore or fatigued, the thrower should stop throwing and rest it until that pain or soreness is gone.
The second recommendation is to try to avoid throwing for two to three months. But optimally four months of no throwing is the best in terms of preventing injuries.
The third recommendation is pitching no more than 100 innings per calendar year. And that’s on any team or any different types of showcase anyone can be on.
The fourth is following the recommendations made by the USA baseball in terms of number of pitches to throw per week as well as following the number of days of rest in between outings.
Number five is to avoid pitching on multiple teams during the same season.
Number six is throwing with good mechanics. So first developing good mechanics then learning how to throw good fastball and then incorporating a changeup as a secondary pitch. And then only after that can people start throwing curveballs and sliders and other additional pitch types.
Number seven is to avoid using radar guns. Avoid trying to throw harder than one is normally used to throwing.
Number eight is a pitcher should never be a catcher especially during the same day just due to the number of throws that athlete would make in a given day.
And then finally, any pitcher that is complaining about pain or discomfort in their shoulder or elbow should be stopped from throwing and seek medical attention to be fully evaluated.
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