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  • New poster needs help -- Thanks

    Guys -

    I live in the Midwest and the parent of a lefty who is 13 years old, turning 14 in March. Ever since he was a young kid he could throw the ball through the wall. Periodically throughout each baseball season he would experience "dead arm" for a week or so. Rest, stretching, and slow return to the mound would fix his soreness.

    Last year he got on a team that will feed into his high school. The coach started following, and teaching these plyometric arm exercises using palati (sp?) balls and WEIGHTED BASEBLLS. Never in his life has he experienced such arm agony as last year. One, or one - third inning was all he could do in a game. This from a kid who once could go 40 - 50 strong pitches with no issues.

    Now this year, 8th grade, they have begun working out already indoors. Four practices into it and they are throwing 72 weighted balls and 5 regular balls. His arm is about ready to fall off. Pain not only in the bicep, but in the elbow joint!

    Guys, I dunno what to do. Is the weighted ball issue a real one? Could that be playing havoc with his pitching? His coach is already saying :If he wants to pitch this year........"

    I need help. Is there any ideas on mechanics maybe, weighted balls, etc. For one, I think throwing 77 balls, weighted and otherwise this early is plain nuts.

    Your thoughts, and sorry for the long winded story. Forgot to add that he has grown 8-10 inches the past year and a half, and has grown 6 inches the past ten months. He is 5' 10". Maybe he is just growing too fast?????

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Last edited by dglts; 01-13-2006, 08:40 AM.
    Baseball is Life

  • #2
    No weighted balls, ESPECIALLY at his age :grouchy

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.
      Last edited by dglts; 01-13-2006, 08:49 AM.
      Baseball is Life

      Comment


      • #4
        1. Go see orthopedist.
        2. Fire coach.

        .....

        Seriously, any elbow injury means you should shut down immediately. Did the coach alert players that they should stop at the first sign of elbow pain? Did the coach talk with you or him first to find out if he had any history of elbow or other arm problems?

        At this point, there's no point in talking to us. An orthopedist who is knowledgeable about sports injuries (and that's what buys the orthopedist his Ferrari, or at least that's what one orthopedist told me...) is going to control his diagnosis, treatment and future pitching regimen and plans.

        The problem is that the coach will hold against your son any fallout from his apparently misguided attempt to play God with kids' arms. Good luck.
        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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        • #5
          Don't know where to start.....

          I suggest you read the thread "Does Dick Mills Know What he's Talking About" It's has a great deal of information and will force you to ask some appropriate questions...

          Others can contribute more than me here, but here's a few thoughts....

          Just because your son is 13 doesn't mean he is bio-mechanically developed enough to be throwing anything but basic stuff (including weighted balls). Some kids take longer to develop regardless of their size and chronological age. I was at the World Baseball Coaches' Convention today and went to a session with Donavan Santas, head trainer for the Toronto Blue Jays. The subject of weighted balls came up and he feels they are ok for the 'experienced" pitcher only. Using them without proper training (by the coach that is) is an absolute no-no.

          The consensus of the group (High school, college, pro coaches and full-time trainers) felt that the biggest problem group is the 13 y.o. group - for several reasons.

          1. Testosterone - Little boys who want to be men.
          2. Physical development or lack thereof- 11-14 is the most vulnerable age.
          3. Little League Field to Big field. That extra 15 feet with the same Little League techniques can be a killer. Putting LL'ers at 60' without additional training can take a good Little League player and make him a sore armed mediocre player at middle school.


          The way a child should be trained as a pitcher, as yes your son is still a child, differs for pre-pubescent, pubescent, post-pubescent, and young adult players. The discussion about the kenesiology and biology in the thread listed above is serious and should be understood by middle school and high school coaches. If they don't have a basic understanding of what they are dealing with, or more important what damage they can do, they should defer to a trained professional.

          I agree with Ursa Minor, if it hurts don't do it! If his training is done properly he should have some muscle soreness due to the workout, but NO pain.
          "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
          - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
          Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dglts
            Forgot to add that he has grown 8-10 inches the past year and a half, and has grown 6 inches the past ten months. He is 5' 10". Maybe he is just growing too fast?????
            He's growing the way he should be growing. But it does sound like there may be some growth plate issues. As UM said see an orthopedist.
            "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
            - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
            Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

            Comment


            • #7
              Agreed Jake,

              Weighted balls are not the way to stengthen an arm properly, especially someone so young. His tendons, ligaments and joints in general aren't ready for that much repeated strain. Hospital tubing type stuff is good, but only at very low tension, and the movements should be controlled and deliberate. Shoulder surgery type rehab might be good to build up the proper muscles. Weighted balls though, definately a no go.

              Comment


              • #8
                Forget the weighted balls. I'm 13 and I started lifting weights. I don't lift anything too heavy and I use safety first. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I can see my speed going up. I can also throw the ball farther than I ever could.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
                  Hospital tubing type stuff is good, but only at very low tension, and the movements should be controlled and deliberate.
                  dglts,
                  For the above check out SPRI products at www.spriproducts.com - cheap, easy to use and difficult to use wrong if supervised properly. They will give you exercises you can use. Your orthopedist can determine which are appropriate.
                  "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                  - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                  Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jake, Rotten and Sultan -

                    Thanks for the feedback. I have spoken to several folks today about this issue. One thing that keeps coming up is his mechanics. When the arm feels better, I think we'll go back to a true "pitching coach" for an evaluation on techniques.

                    Also, weight lifting or should I say PT keeps coming up also.

                    I dont want him to have a bad high school experience with arm issues. I want this to be enjoyable for him, so we'll definately follow experts directions.

                    Thanks again,
                    Baseball is Life

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RottenGazebo
                      Forget the weighted balls. I'm 13 and I started lifting weights. I don't lift anything too heavy and I use safety first. I have been doing this for a few weeks and I can see my speed going up. I can also throw the ball farther than I ever could.
                      As a high school coach I agree with no weighted balls and would shut him down until you get his elbow checked now.
                      It's just throwing and catching and hitting and running. What could be simplier?
                      Paul Richards Orioles Manager(1955-1960)

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                      • #12
                        stop throwing now

                        Originally posted by score4
                        As a high school coach I agree with no weighted balls and would shut him down until you get his elbow checked now.
                        This is the smartest thing that has been said so far. If he has tendon or ligament damage in his elbow, it won't heal until he stops throwing and any other activity that puts stress on the affected soft tissue. It took me two years to get over a case of tennis elbow. Of course, I'm a lot older than your son, but the principle still applies. Stop throwing and get him to an orthopedist.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          And if at all possible, fire the coach. Ha no I'm kidding, but maybe somehow talk to the coach and explain to him (friendly, because many will become defensive when challenged) if you have to, slip something into his drink to calm him down. No I'm kidding again, okay lets not all laugh at once, but seriously ask him his views on pitching, and ask him what would be the benefit of throwing weighted baseballs? To strengthen the arm he may say? But then you can say that little arm muscle activity goes on during the acceleration phase of pitching, it's all about the kinetics (motion) energy. It doesn't take an olympic athelete to throw a 5 oz baseball -.-

                          I'd also suggest you'd brush up on some pitching knowledge (if you haven't already or have little knowledge) because if your going to talk to the coach, your going to have to provide some answers.

                          Well best of luck and update us on things, I think this is interesting... much better then a soap opera
                          While I do prefer to interact with people in a gentle manner... I'm also not at all opposed to establishing my dominance in a reign of terror.

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