How to Help Your Child Become a Better Throwing Athlete related to Baseball Injuries presented by JOI Rehabilitation.
JOI Can Help With Baseball Injuries
Pitcher Releasing Baseball
Florida’s climate allows the games of baseball and softball to be played all year long. Baseball I have seen several boys and girls who try their skills at the pitching position. Most youngsters in league level play start pitching at the age of nine or ten. It is extremely important that the young developing pitcher learn the correct mechanics. However, they also need to have the strength and flexibility to be able to demonstrate the proper technique. I see a great deal of throwing athletes in the clinic who participate at the middle school and high school level. I want to prevent injuries and subsequent surgeries as a direct result of incorrect mechanics.
Throwing Mechanics in Baseball
What Can Be Done? I believe the answer is improved education of parents and coaches. Coaches do an incredible job of teaching your child the art of throwing a baseball or softball. However, they can be assisted by the staff at JOI Rehabilitation who have additional resources to address proper mechanics. At JOI, I have the state-of-the-art equipment to perform a comprehensive video analysis of throwing. I use this video to slow everything down so we can see the errors. I then use very specific drills to correct the errors. Many repetitions are needed to keep the good mechanics.
Stride Length in Throwing
A good example of how to correct errors in throwing is when I see a long stride length. A pitcher’s stride length should be about 70 to 80% of their height. When the stride length is too short, it can really affect other areas in the pitching motion. I do a drill to increase stride length by having the pitcher lay down on the floor. Then I mark the area of their neck as about 70% of their height.
I then have the athlete throw and most of the time they don’t come anywhere close to the tape on the floor. To increase their stride, I put a chair out in front of them and have them use a towel in their hand and go through their throwing motion. I then tell them to hit the chair with the towel during the throwing motion. I keep moving the chair further out until the hit the tape of where their stride length should be. This really works well!
Stages of Throwing
This biomechanical assessment breaks down the complete motion of throwing into stages. I then review the film to see what errors have occurred. In other words, I will work with your child on correcting the problems that were identified. Also, I will gladly work with your child’s coach to assist with the complete circle of care. I really think this team approach works in injury prevention. In conclusion, please seek out advice if you think your child is not throwing correctly or has pain.
Flexibility is Important to Prevent Baseball Injuries
I want to talk about another part of this equation. In rehab, I focus on the correct strength and flexibility in order for an athlete to be able to achieve the proper form of throwing. Therefore, JOI Rehabilitation clinicians have the expertise to develop specific programs for the individual needs of your child.
The importance of this type of early intervention cannot be overemphasized. Just like any sport, throwing a baseball/softball is a learned activity. It is of vital importance to have correct mechanics from the start. Investing in this process not will help your child reach his/her maximum potential with his/her sport. The goal is to keep them from having shoulder problems down the road.
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