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6 Things Every pitcher should know

1. Pitch Counts

If you have a child in baseball it is imperative that you monitor their pitch count and work load on the mound.  Kids at the 14 and under level should not be throwing more than 75 pitches in a day.  For players 15+ pitch counts can be a little higher.  A good rule of thumb would be no more than 95 pitches.  Just to give you an idea, the majority of pro baseball pitchers in the minor leagues are capped at 95 pitches.  

​​2. Stress level of pitches during the game.

If your son or daughter throws more than 25 pitches in an inning, that is a high stress inning.  The more pitches you throw in an inning, the more fatigue you go through and more likely it is you become injured.  Do not let your kids throw more than two high stress innings, even if they do reach their 75 pitch total.  A typical inning should be 15 pitches or less. 20 pitches are still a manageable number. In pro ball the motto is, “3 pitches or less.”  Your job as a pitcher is to throw strikes and get outs as efficiently as possible.  Your goal is to get batters out in 3 pitches or less. Pitch to contact! To quote Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, “Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.”

3. Days of Rest in between pitching performances

Also, if you are a pitcher who pitched close to their pitch limit in a day, rest your arm for at a minimum of four days.  On the fifth day the majority of pitchers should be able to throw the maximum number of pitches again.  

0-15 pitches one-day rest, available to pitch 2nd day

16-30 pitches two-day rest, available to pitch 3rd day

31-45 pitches three-day rest, available to pitch 4th day

45+ pitches four-day rest, available to pitch 5th day

4. Stretching

In my year of working with college pitchers not one pitcher on our staff had an injury.  I attribute this to properly stretching every day.  Before our daily throwing routine our pitchers would stretch for thirty minutes and go through agilities before ever touching a baseball.  As a private instructor, I see too many young kids who can’t even touch their toes.  Becoming flexible helps with injury prevention. Take the time out of your day to stretch and warm-up properly.  

5. Cuff Program

After throwing a bullpen or throwing in a game every pitcher should go through a rotator cuff program.  At the professional level it is mandatory for every pitcher to go through a rotator cuff routine. Here is a good starter rotator cuff program.

In this video it shows the exercise with 5lb weights. In pro ball we used 3 or 5lbs.

6. Flush Run

After your cuff program, it is equally as important to incorporate a flush run. The reason why you run after you throw is to get rid of lactic acid build up in your arm. Lactic acid build-up causes soreness and stiffness in your arm.  If you can’t get in a light jog 15-20 minutes after you throw, a good alternative is jumping rope.  On road trips in pro ball, we used to jump rope for 5 minutes in the tunnel after throwing in a game.  The trainer would time us for one minute and give us 15-30 second breaks in between sets.  Then, we would jump side to side for one minute, front to back for one minute, one leg left for a minute, one leg right for a minute, and end with regular jump rope for a minute.

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