How “Throwing Through It” at the Low Levels, Costs Kids at the High Levels
One of the worst ongoing trends in the lower levels of baseball is coaches having kids throw through discomfort and pain.
Bear in mind this does not happen at the elite level: coaches have seen enough top talents suffer arm injuries up close and personal to know when a guy doesn’t feel right, they immediately shut him down
Typically an arm assessment and MRI is then immediately done to check for any issues.
However, at the low levels, making kids throw through pain persists.
The reason being is that low level coaches often don’t have to witness the consequences of this themselves, because the actual injury often doesn’t occur until later.
The human body can endure repetitive and inappropriate stress often for years-in this case ESPECIALLY when the velocity is more 82-85, and not 92-95-before the injury event ultimately takes place
Arm injuries typically aren’t the result of one specific incident. They’re overwhelmingly the result of cumulative trauma.
Think of it as a road trip from Vegas to New York. Vegas is a healthy arm, New York is a significant injury.
Throw maximally at a showcase when your arm doesn’t feel good: now you’re in Nebraska. Throw 7 innings on Friday and then come back in relief on Saturday: now you’re in Illinois. Throw year round with no offseason: Pennsylvania. And then a guy does something seemingly innocuous like throw a Monday bullpen at practice through discomfort at the insistence of his coaches, when he just pitched in a weekend tournament, and bam, New York and arm injury.
It’s cumulative trauma.
And throwing through pain is a huge catalyst for injury.
Add in that so many do SO LITTLE to build velocity through the hips, and instead keep asking more and more and more out of the already overtaxed shoulder with things like weighted balls and overly intense throwing programs, and it’s no wonder there’s an injury epidemic in the sport.
For example, in 2019 an incredible 67% of the Rangers Milb pitchers across all levels were hurt and on the disabled list.
That’s 2 out of every 3 pitchers hurt
The word was the Rangers attributed their incredibly high injury rate to their throwing program.
And while that may have been the straw that broke the camels back, it’s safe to assume many of the 67% had already been driving their car progressively closer to New York long before the Rangers drafted them.
When it comes to an athletes health, there’s the opinion of the coach, the opinion of the athlete, and finally the opinion of the athletes body. Guess which one is always right?