Any parent of a child or teen baseball player is likely familiar with baseball “showcases”. These are typically high-level events in which teams play multiple ball games over a few or several days, spaced closer together over a shorter period of time. While the purpose of showcasing is to provide young athletes a forum for showing their skills to scouts, the brutal and relentless scheduling can give rise to arm injuries.
To make the likelihood of injury even greater, showcases typically are scheduled near the end of the season, which is a time when athletes are already fatigued and their bodies are in greater need of rest and recovery. While in other situations, showcases may be scheduled after a prolonged break since the season ended – which leads to injury from adequate preparation.
Additionally, young baseball players want to do everything they can to impress scouts, and as a result will try to overthrow – further increasing the risk of serious arm injury.
11. Arm doctors advise against letting players be pitchers and catchers
It’s common sense, and simple math, that a player who pitches and catches engages in many more throws – setting them up for a greater risk of arm injury. And, in fact, studies have shown that a pitcher who also played cather was at double to triple the risk of injury.
To combat this problem, Little League Baseball implemented a new rule in 2010 that bans a pitcher who throws 41 or more pitches in a game from going playing in the catcher position for the rest of the day.
12. Arm doctors recommend delaying throwing the curveball
This is probably the most controversial darm doctors tip on this list. While some studies show a direct relationship between certain pitch types (especially curve-balls) and arm injuries, other reports deny this finding.
many doctors believe that the curveball pitch is too strenuous for younger athlete’s arms. The theory is that this pitch puts more torque and load on the elbows and shoulders than young bodies can handle – resulting in increased risk of injury. Additionally, the mechanics of the curveball pitch lead the bones of the elbow to slam together, putting additional stress on the ulna bone which is the major component of the elbow.
As each athlete’s body, skill set, strength, maturity and physical condition is different, the bottom line is that different players will be ready for different pitches at different times. So, while the curveball pitch is still generally accepted and still taught in baseball – parents should take into consideration all of these factors before considering the introduction of the curveball to their youth baseball player.
Top Detroit Area Hand & Arm Doctor
If you or your child are suffering from a baseball injury, or any pain in your fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified Detroit area hand surgeon Doctor Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. Your hands and arms are vitally important to everything you do. Rapid detection, diagnosis, and treatment is the most effective way to ensure you heal completely, and do not suffer long term consequences.
We offer the latest advancements and techniques in hand and arm physical therapy, and can put a treatment and injury-prevention plan in place for your family’s student athletes.