If your son isn’t in high school, in my opinion, he doesn’t need to be pitching just yet.
Save your son from the early stress to his UCL and Labrum and just have him play the field. Pitching at an early age doesn’t do as much good as you think. It doesn’t give him that much of an edge at the college level or even the high school level.
Kids under 18 years old have considerably less body awareness meaning they might feel like they are moving in one way, but are actually aren’t doing what they think they’re doing.
Here’s a Wall Street Journal article called “The Rise of the Accidental Pitcher.” More and more often, pitchers who became pitchers late in their careers (college and minor league) are making the Major Leagues. Why? I think it’s because the competition is literally dwindling due to injury. Players that don’t pitch their entire lives generally have healthier arms WHEN IT COUNTS.
I know this might upset or even OFFEND some people with kids who are already pitching, but here’s an honest opinion from a guy who’s SEEN college prospects lose scholarships due to Tommy John Surgery.
I don’t take your money for pitching lessons… My selling point is honest, unbiased opinions on how to allow your kid have the greatest chance to succeed.
Benefits of Not Pitching Before High School
- Reduce lifetime stress to the arm.
- Increase overall athleticism by focusing on fielding positions or even by playing other sports.
- Learn throwing mechanics through hitting mechanics.
- Two perspectives on the mechanics gives players a better feel for their body and how the mechanics really work.
- Playing other sports helps a player improve his overall athleticism, it’s a lot more fun for the kid and it will allow both the parent and child to better decide which sport the kid likes the most and which he is the best at. Also, playing other sports gives young athletes better body control
- Instead of just throwing your child into baseball, let him choose which he thinks is the most fun. The sport he enjoys the most will ultimately be the one he is the best at.
In my next article I will put together helpful information for players trying to gain weight.