Thursday Throwing Tips –
Baseball coaches are not usually doctors, but they may have to play one with sore armed players
It is very difficult to know how injured a ball player is without examination by a doctor. Sometimes, even that is not sufficient when it comes to possible major injuries, as an x-ray or MRI may be necessary. Of course, that is for extreme cases and quite costly. Most sore armed players overcome the soreness with a little tender loving care.
Whatever the situation, baseball coaches often have to figure out how to handle kids that report injuries. The most common and often toughest to diagnose is the sore arm. It is not an easy dilemma because many kids mistake a tired arm as sore, or have a “sore arm” when they are not playing well. It is a dilemma because many teams need players to play, as roster sizes are often limited at the youth levels.
Here are a few baseball-coaching tips that help the sore armed player dilemma.
How to Help Sore Armed Players
- Coaches should never doubt the player and just blow off their claim of soreness.
- Along the same line, coaches should not force kids to throw through pain.
- Icing the sore spot is always a good first recommendation at the first report of soreness, which often clears up any little inflammation.
- When the soreness is directly in the elbow or shoulder area, coaches should give players a few days off, ease them back and not allow any hard throwing until the pain totally subsides. If the pain continues after a week of no, or light, throwing, recommend player see a doctor.
- When soreness is a non-elbow or shoulder area, have player throw lightly and see if the tenderness goes away as they loosen up.
- Put players with minimal soreness at light throwing positions, like outfield and first base.
- Stretching is always a good practice before and after throwing.
- Age appropriate strengthening exercises can also keep the arm strong.
- Never pitch players, who complain of sore arms.
Of course, pitchers are in the most danger of developing sore arms so having pitch counts, weekly inning limits and enough pitchers on the team to not over pitch players is crucial to avoiding sore armed players.