Youth Pitching Arm Care


Ronald Bartel
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
Anyone have a particular program they can recommend for pre- or in-season injury prevention?


SoSH Member
Jan 11, 2023
I have been lucky enough to work with a good travel program for a few years. Here are some high level thoughts based on what we have our kids doing (9-15u)

  1. J-Bands (Jaeger Bands) J Band Routine Do this before and after a heavy throwing session
  2. Plyo Ball Circuit. Driveline has them but they are a bit pricy. Theres a company called Rukket that sells them for a bit cheaper. Plyo Ball Routine It takes a few sessions to get used to the movements, and youll need a wall to throw them against. This is a great warm up before throwing
Biggest thing is putting the time aside before throwing to do it. Before any athlete throws, we will do this plus a dynamic warmup to raise the body temperature. It is a learning curve for everyone involved.

Throwing the heavier plyoballs is actually safe for the athlete - their arm will move slower because it is heavier than an actual baseball. This allows us to train the "patterns" of the body. I think back to when I was a kid and would throw a wiffleball for hours and my arm would hurt. A lot of that was because I was throwing a very light ball and my arm was moving faster than my joints and tendons could handle.

I could go on but this is usually a good place to start. Shoot me a message if you would like more context - I have copies of the actual plans that we use for the kids. I would be happy to chat!


SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2022
New York, USA
My two cents.

Best arm care for young pitchers = fastball/change up. Avoid curve balls until high school age. Young players can dominate with a good change.

In travel, pitch counts should include warm up tosses between innings. Avoid travel coaches that ride starters… coaches that let kids throw to pitch limits in meaningless games and bring the kid back from minimum required rest to pitch next game to pitch limit. I have seen more than a few kids in the 12u. - 15u range throwing hooks and 80 pitch starts in “dad coached” travel end up being lesser players in high school due to overuse.

Treat your best catchers like pitchers. They throw a ton.

Stretching, bands, bands, bands. Before and after games and practice.

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
Another vote for changeups here but kids are going to throw whatever they have at some point. All tools are eventually used.

One other thing for coaches to be aware of is kids who pitch and play for more than one team. In my experience some kids and more than a few of their parents are perfectly fine pitching for days in a row for different teams. I even had one dad tell me his son was fine after such an incident because both teams heeded the pitch counts (this 13 year old kid threw something like160 pitches not counting warmups on consecutive days). We didn't know about the day before or else the kid wouldn't have seen the mound.

In any event, we have a strict policy now and we even try to independently verify if possible.

Kids and some of their parents will absolutely overdo it. Make sure to discuss this with your players and families.

Yo La Tengo

SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
As a coach, good communication with players/parents about pitches thrown on other teams is key.

I'm a big proponent of the old-fashioned rubber hose exercises and stretches. Cheap and easy to transport means players will actually do them (sometimes). I set them up at practice so kids go through the progression everyday.

(Looking at your initial note, I'm not sure if you are a parent or a coach, but, if the former, the number one thing you can do is make sure your player is not getting overused, especially if they play on more than one team. I set up firm pitch counts for my sons on all their teams.)