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Saturday, July 31, 2010
4 Simple Tips to Protecting a Young Pitcher's Arm
Baseball Training Tips: 4 Simple Tips to Protecting a Young Pitcher's Arm
By Guest Author Daniel Warwick
Last year I played my first year of baseball at Orange Coast College, and I pitched through the whole year with two torn tendons in my shoulder. Why am I telling you this? I was never aware of the different things you can do for a healthy arm. I pitched since I was little, and that is where the initial wear and tear starts. I just recently had surgery and I want to help young pitchers avoid ever having to deal with arm injuries. These are very simple, very basic tips that a lot of people know about, but don't apply them. By doing these everyday, I was able to still pitch while already having these injuries, I just wish I had known them before the injury occurred.
Tip #1: If something hurts, don't ignore it.
This is probably the most basic, yet most important point I want to get across. If something doesn't feel right, and it doesn't go away, don't just act like it will. This is what I've done my whole life, and even when I was going to my doctor, he kept insisting that it was only tendonitis. I had to finally insist an MRI from my doctor, and he still didn't think it would be anything. My coaches, teammates, and my doctor, all thought it was nothing but tendonitis. Well the results came and two tears in my shoulder, and an O ring tear. Now I'm sitting here writing this with still 6 to 9 months of recovery time ahead of me. Bottom line, go with your gut, get it checked out. If it's nothing, at least you know. Trust me, it's not worth taking the chance.
Tip #2: Ice Ice Ice and More Ice
Like no duh, you throw a lot of pitches, you ice, everyone knows that. What I learned is that you can't underestimate the power of icing your arm. And it's not just something you have to do when you pitch a lot, if at all possible, after every time you throw. Trust me, you won't notice, and you won't know to thank me for it, but do it young. The sooner you ice after throwing, the better as well. People don't realize how much wear it takes for you arm to throw a ball as hard as you do, over and over. Sure it might not hurt, but that wear and tear adds up every year you continue to do it. Icing thins the blood to help more blood take more nutrients throughout your arm to start repairing all and any damage. Secondly, when you do it right after you throw, it slows all of your cells down right away, and prevents all that wear you just performed. If it were possible, I would ice immediately once I know I'm done throwing every time. Trust me, your arm will feel golden. And there is also nothing wrong with icing more than once a day, especially if it's sore.
Tip #3: Don't just play catch to warm up
If you're a pitcher, you do different things than other players. Throwing downhill puts more stress on your arm, you throw more than all the other players, and you throw different pitches, "the curve ball." You want to be really warm before you throw. Run to get some blood flow, stretch out, and either use bands, or light 3 or 5 lb weights. Just do different things, keep your arms straight by your side and lift up in front of you, at a 45 degree angle, and on the side of you. Then over your head with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle straight up, and slowly bend it forward, and then back up. When I do these, I do three sets of ten reps each every time before I throw, whether it's a bullpen, coming in for relief in the middle of the game, or even just to play catch. Now I know that these may be hard to know exactly what to do, but you can just experiment and figure out what works. The important thing is to make sure that all of your small muscles are really warmed up and stretched before you throw.
Tip #4: Run and build your legs
I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this one, it's pretty simple, but important. Run a lot, and build your legs. Running increases blood flow to help heal your arm, while at the same time helps your stamina and endurance on the mound. And the stronger your legs are, means the less your arm has to work. You'd be surprised how important your legs on for pitching, for velocity, and to protect your arm.
Hi, my name is Daniel Warwick. Now there was one tip I left out, and that is to build your forearm strength. This takes stress off your elbow and your shoulder. The thing about this one though is that it is great for baseball performance all around, pitching and hitting. Just check out my blog to see the link at http://pitchingtips.squarespace.com/ Also, if you are looking for a really big edge in whatever you're doing, there is a site is going to be launching a new workout and diet program from top pro trainers. Now they are going to be having a pre-launch for their site from July 27 to July 29. It sounds like a really good opportunity, but right now they aren't leaking out much info until those three days. All you have to do is go there and leave your email for an early bird request on info, or just wait until those dates and click on this link. Trust me, you won't want to miss out. This can also be found at http://pitchingtips.squarespace.com/
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