Preseason Throwing as Harmful As in Season Throwing?
Arm Injury Causes
- Incorrect throwing mechanics lead to arm injuries over time, although the over hand throwing action is not a natural body movement. There is also risk to arm injury with changing players’ natural arm throwing actions.
- Most arm injuries come about because of maximum speed throwing. Throwing at 15 to 20% less than maximum speeds, greatly decrease the chances for arm injuries.
- Along with overuse, nothing is more harmful to a throwing arm then cutting loose the first day of practice.
Occasionally, a player knows the exact throw their arm was injured. The pain shoots through the arm or shoulder area and there is no denying an arm injury occurred. Even then, it was probably an injury in the making and not the result of just one throw. Over use is a common cause of most arm injuries and ones that are not always apparent they are happening.
Another likelihood for throwing arm injuries is throwing hard without either enough warm-up time, or throwing hard to soon in the season. These latter injury-causing problems are much easier to control, but often are not, because coaches and/or parents do not enforce them at the beginning of the season practices.
Preseason Throwing Tips Coaches Must Know
Use of a lighter weight ball allows more throwing, and faster throwing, without the strain of a regulation ball, so coaches may want to use the lightweight balls for some fundamental throwing drills. Additionally, coaches should continually remind players to scale back with throwing intensity, as it is easy for players to start firing the ball around, without thinking.
Preseason Throwing Advice
- Jog and stretch before throwing
- Begin throwing a month before preseason practices (2 weeks is sufficient for pre – high school players). Pitchers should double those times, though. Even going through the throwing motion by holding a ball without releasing the ball is good preseason preparation as long as it is not with 100% arm speed.
- Begin throwing at distances no further than between the base paths for that age player and at no more than 80 percent speed.
- Throw at least two times a week, but no more than three times, for the first three weeks.
- Refrain from throwing top speed for the first six throwing sessions.
- Pay attention to any arm soreness by icing after practice.Preseason arm health is crucial for long-term arm injury avoidance, as a great deal of throwing occurs the first couple of weeks of practices. Arms that are not ready have greater chance of injury, but the above preseason-throwing tips help injury avoidance by avoiding “over doing it” too early.