Sports Safety Tips for Coaches and Parents

iStock-974502936Throwing too hard, too much, or too early without enough rest can over-stress the elbow and shoulder and lead to injury—especially in young athletes. Strengthening the right muscles, pitch counts, and proper rest can improve short- and long-term health.

INJURY PREVENTION

  • Be age appropriate. Little League players don’t need to throw a slider or a curveball.
  • Emphasize control. Focus on accuracy and good throwing mechanics.
  • Eyes on target. Stay low. Typically shoulder/elbow injuries are caused by lack of head control. If head stays on target, accuracy will improve from left/right direction.
  • Practice glove control. Keep glove close as ball is released.
  • Put away the radar. Don’t focus on velocity.
  • Share the load. Rotate pitchers regularly.
  • Warm up gradually. It’s important to warm up between innings. Focus on stretch throwing and active stretching such as shoulder rolls and trunk bends with arm swings.

Pitch Count Limits

Age Pitches per game
7-8 50
9-10 75
11-12 85
13-16 95
17-18 105

Source: Little League Baseball

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