YOUTH BASEBALL PLAYERS: WHAT IS TOO MUCH THROWING

You may have played Little League baseball as a kid, and/or taken part in summer pick-up games with neighborhood friends. Those were the days before travel teams, pitching coaches, year-round training . . . and sky-rocketing college tuition.

As parents today, the last thing on our minds is the list of injuries young athletes are susceptible to from playing too much baseball. After all, Little League officials have developed age-appropriate pitch counts and rest guidelines. So, there’s nothing to worry about, right?

Wrong. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 20 percent of children ages 8 to 12 and 45 percent of 13 to14 year-olds experience arm pain during a single baseball season.

Frequent overhand throwing can put tremendous stress on the shoulder and elbow, leading to debilitating injuries later in life. These injuries include tears of the SLAP, bicep and/or rotator cuff, as well as bicep tendonitis, shoulder impingement and instability. Typically, these painful conditions stem from improper mechanics and/or overuse. Experts agree that a young player can greatly reduce the chance of elbow and shoulder injuries by learning the proper mechanics of an overhead throw. Terrance Sgroi, a former high school baseball player and co-director of the Accelerated Overhead Throwing Program, explains, “A thrower should never play with pain. In fact, he or she should engage in a strengthening program before the baseball season starts. It’s also advisable to take a two-to-three month break from throwing each year to play other sports.” Sgroi has developed the Overhead Throwing Program to evaluate and correct the pitching and throwing biomechanics of young players. The program, which doesn’t require a physician’s prescription, offers:

  • 20-point biomechanical analysis
  • Professional indoor (youth and adult) mound and net
  • Use of high speed camera capturing 500+ frames per second and slow motion analysis
  • Take-home DVD
  • Functional Movement Screen to identify strength and flexibility impairments
  • Identification of risk factors
  • Return to play protocols
  • Techniques for improving control and velocity
  • Strengthening and conditioning techniques

To download a free brochure or to schedule an overhead throwing evaluation for your player(s), team or club, please call 845-893-2354 or visit www.acceleraterehab.com and click on specialty programs, then Overhead Throwing Program.