How often should a HS freshman throw

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March 13, 2007 7:48 PM

My son's coaches aren't throwing anybody at practice. No bullpens, no scrimages, just postions. No one has thrown in 5 days. How can they expect the kids to stay sharp when they don't let them practice? What is the right amount of time to devote to pitching per week?
 
 
 
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March 13, 2007 8:04 PM

Wow! My kid has been throwing 5-6x week year-round. He is a LHP. In season, he long-tosses daily and throws a bullpen between starts.

Regularly throwing is critical for arm health. I simply do not understand any coach that thinks throwing would be counter-productive to the sport of baseball. Confused
 
 
 
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March 13, 2007 8:18 PM

Bum. Thanks. I feel the same way. He was working hard all winter on core and arm strength. Then the season is about to begin and they don't throw anyone? I don't think it is that they don't believe in the value of throwing. I do think they don't know. I think any kid that improves with them will have to do it on his own. He's also a LHP.
 
Last edited by bb1 March 13, 2007 8:19 PM
 
 
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March 13, 2007 11:39 PM

I'm surprised someone hasn't posted that it depends on the kid. It is true, but how can a coach x-ray the tissues of a kid to determine if all is well?
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 8:43 AM

The real issue is "throw" vs "pitch". Throw regularly if not everyday, pitch occasionally.
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 8:51 AM

obrady


I agree--throwing is not pitching---to lay off throwing for 5 days to me is ludicrous
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 9:33 AM

quote:
Originally posted by TRhit:
obrady, I agree--throwing is not pitching---to lay off throwing for 5 days to me is ludicrous


I agree.
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 9:40 AM

Kids do not play catch anymore !@!!!!
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 10:11 AM

bb1:
I would guess the standard in most high schools is something along this line.
Throw a 40-50 pitch bull pen either every third day or every other day (some like to throw it every day... I haven't tried that).
Also incorporate long toss on most days.
If you don't have a "game" to throw you would add a 60-pitch pen possibly...
I think most programs go pretty close to these guidelines...
I will say it is hard in HS ball to get all your pens in sometimes due to facility, weather or having a small staff (don't blast me and tell me how important it is... I said it is hard; i didn't say don't do it)
anyway, good luck this spring.
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 10:37 AM

They do loosen the arms up of course everyday but no one has been on a mound or near a bullpen. I just don't know how you can expect a kid to have much as far as velocity, control, stamina, when thet don't pitch. At least let them throw every other day or 3rd day. I think you're setting a kid up to fail when they are not prepared correctly.
 
 
 
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March 14, 2007 10:39 AM

quote:
Originally posted by bb1:
They do loosen the arms up of course everyday but no one has been on a mound or near a bullpen. I just don't know how you can expect a kid to have much as far as velocity, control, stamina, when thet don't pitch. At least let them throw every other day or 3rd day. I think you're setting a kid up to fail when they are not prepared correctly.


Long toss will help with velocity and stamina, but it won't help with control.
 
 
 
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March 15, 2007 11:57 PM

Long toss will actually NOT help with velocity and stamina, as the neuromuscular patterns are different from pitching, thus the brain recognizes it as two different activities.

What that is saying is that the two simply do not transfer over.

To get better at pitching you have to pitch at game intensity, perferably in blocked sets, as it makes no sense to throw a 60, 80, 100 pitch bullpen in 10 minutes.

So how often should he pitch?

Twice a week would be nice (excluding game).
Get him to throw the amount of pitches he's required to in a game.
Thus, if they expect him to throw 100 pitches, he better be throwing 100 pitches in a bullpen.
Not flat ground or anything, as that is more stressful than mound, and it won't transfer over to the mound because the mechanics are different.
 
Last edited by XFactor March 16, 2007 12:00 AM
 
 
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April 3, 2007 10:59 AM

My son is a freshman playing ss and pitching on his varsity team. For what it's worth, he's tall and thin and throws pretty hard. When he is not pitching, he plays ss. He has pitched twice this season with success throwing around 50 pitches total to close out two games. The coach it seems will be starting to use him more frequently on the mound (he asked him if he wanted the start the other day). My question is, regarding arm care, how many pitches should I benchmark him throwing this season considering he's playing ss during non-pitching days?
Personally, I've targeted around 1200 for the entire spring and summer travel season and I could see that eaten up very quickly. I'm a little concerned about over use. Are there other issues I should consider as well?
 
 
 
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April 3, 2007 3:21 PM

Does he have a good level of fitness?
Does he do sprints and other pitching-specific exercises?

For bullpens, you want to build up the volume gradually.

How many pitches does he throw in his bullpen? If he's expected to throw 70-80-100 pitches in a game, then you want him to be able to throw that many in the bullpen. Otherwise, how are you going to make up 20-30-50 pitches?
He's gotta be conditioned to throw the amount required of him.
But that doesn't mean make him throw 80 pitches if he's only been throwing 40-50, you want to build the volume gradually.

As I said above,
quote:
To get better at pitching you have to pitch at game intensity, perferably in blocked sets, as it makes no sense to throw a 60, 80, 100 pitch bullpen in 10 minutes.

So how often should he pitch?

Twice a week would be nice (excluding game).
Get him to throw the amount of pitches he's required to in a game.
Thus, if they expect him to throw 100 pitches, he better be throwing 100 pitches in a bullpen.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 9:38 AM

Igball,
My son is in the same boat as yours.He has started 7 of 14 games & either plays ss or 3b when not pitching. The only thing keeping him from arm troubles is the coach is a slacker & we rarely practice.We have had TWO practices since April 1st!This is bad for the team but has been a blessing for my son's situation.If your son is at ss all the time & pitching also, I would not do any throwing on the side.IMO
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 9:55 AM

A HS freshman, for that matter in fact every HS player should be throwing every day---the key is throwing--playing catch-- easy tossing just to relieve soreness and tightness (not pain)---

KIDS DO NOT PLAY CATCH ANYMORE !!!!
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 10:33 AM

It is difficult to handle pitchers in HS, especially at the freshman level where players usually haven't been singled out as pure pitchers yet.

The key for coaches is a throwing plan that balances bullpens with infield throwing, and with games. Too often in HS a pitcher will throw significant innings one day and then be making 50 or more full effort throws across the infield the next day in practice when the most he should be doing is playing light catch.

If a player wants to pitch there has to be some willingness to sacrifice practice time at a position and along with that the possibility that someone else will earn the position.

The other thing that is important for coaches at at levels of HS ball is to establish as regular a rotation as possible (easier said than done) so that pitchers can plan their throwing, bullpens, pitching lessons, etc. in advance. Of course pitchers have to realize that their first responsibility is to the team and that scheduling a pitching lesson or throwing a long pen the day before a game where there's any chance they'll be needed to pitch is irresponsible.

As a former pitcher my approach is to schedule everything the pitchers do around their pitching and bullpens at the expense of their throwing time at their other position(s). That doesn't mean they can't still take grounders without making the long throws, etc.
 
Last edited by CADad May 6, 2007 10:43 AM
 
 
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May 6, 2007 10:50 AM

quote:
Originally posted by XFactor:
Long toss will actually NOT help with velocity and stamina, as the neuromuscular patterns are different from pitching, thus the brain recognizes it as two different activities.


Is long toss good?

I'm not too knowledgeable about these things. I was sort of surprised that no one argued your point. Seems, I've been hearing positive comments about long toss for a long time. I'm curious.

My son and I were doing it long before we knew it had a semi-formal name/identity. It was fun and a challenge back then.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 11:41 AM

infidel_08,
We're all just tired of arguing with X_factor and hearing the same self serving things over and over again.

Yes, long toss is good for you and pitchers and other players have been doing it for many decades even if it hasn't always been called long toss.
 
Last edited by CADad May 6, 2007 11:43 AM
 
 
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May 6, 2007 12:51 PM

TR,
The day after a pitcher throws a complete game should he throw?
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 1:34 PM

My son is a freshman but plays varsity. They have 6 pitchers on the team and they rotate bullpen every other day. 3 will throw one day and the other 3 will throw the next day. My son has been pitching about every other game. He pitches once a week in a game. He may only pitch 3 or 4 innings. If he pitches in a game then he will not throw in bull pen for two days.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 1:54 PM

Our guys do


Keep in mind that throwing is not pitching
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 2:16 PM

Infidel I sent you a PM Big Grin
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 2:54 PM

CaDad thats an excellent post. In HS alot of times your pitchers are going to also be posistion players. The practice and throwing routines should be centered around their pitching not their posistion play. You can set up a bucket and hit them ground balls and then just have them put the balls in the bucket instead of making tons of throws especially after a start. Pitching is key always has been always will be. Bull pens and in between game prep for pitchers should never be sacrificed.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 3:59 PM

Check out Dice-K's routine.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 4:53 PM

My son is LHP. So when he is not pitching the coaches have played him at first to protect his arm. Otherwise he is a good outfielder. On his team last year playing more games the pitchers bullpens were worked into the practice with 2 catchers in the outfield catching all the pitchers for 25-30 pitches. About 3x per week. There were about 8 of them. It worked great and kept everyone sharp. Why can't the HS coaches do something similar? He doesn't want to just pitch and that may become another issue someday but not as a freshman.
As far as Dice-K. The red sox are already ruining him by not letting him throw and making him ice, something he never did before and by the way my son doesn't do now, he just exercises after pitching and has been fine. While 3 of the varsity players who do ice under orders have sore arms, shoulders, etc.
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 5:09 PM

My son plays RF when he is not pitching, I have had a little concern about it but he seems to be fine. After years of icing his arm, his high school coach does not encourage icing. He has not iced since playing high school ball and he says his arm never felt better. Maybe something to this not icing?
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 6:08 PM

AHA !!!!!


More people on my side of the fence---I have never been a icing fan
 
 
 
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May 6, 2007 6:24 PM

quote:
Maybe something to this not icing?



Icing does nothing more that reduce swelling of the tissues. It is only necessary when you have had a tough outting. Usually 4+ innings. Your arm will eventually get back to normal but not as quick.
My son has done both and it helos get his arm in shape for the nexct outting quicker but is not necessary.
 
 
 
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