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Pitch Counts In Little League And 5 Things To Consider

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  1. Chuck says:

    If you want more information on pitch counts and throwing program, enter your email below and you are just a click away:

    10 yr old, primary position is SS. What are your guidlines on pitch counts and rest? Thanks

    • Lantz says:

      Chuck, thanks for commenting. I think so much of it depends on the player. I would never allow a player to pitch twice in the same day, and would be extremely careful on back to back days. It’s never about the actual number, it’s all about how they got to that number. I think many confuse the term “rest”. Sure, there has to be a day where he doesn’t pick up the ball, but rest should include throwing, medicine ball activities, basically, a recovery program. It’s an active rest, time away from pitching. Pitching and throwing are not the same but are often confused with one another and that’s a major factor in my belief that pitch counts are skewed.

      Hope this helps,
      Lantz

  2. Zita Carno says:

    Lantz, you’ve got it!
    As I’ve said so many times before, many pitching coaches—Mel Harder, Eddie Lopat, Johnny Sain, Leo Mazzone, etc., etc. have advocated throwing every day. Not pitching, just throwing. Even just playing catch for 20 minutes, throwing every day will build up and maintain the arm strength. I used to do that, many moons ago, and I would do a couple of full bullpen sessions a week, throwing all my pitches to see how they were working; if one of my pitches wasn’t behaving itself I would put it on the shelf for the next game I pitched and then address the problem in a subsequent bullpen session. And, thanks in large part to my sidearm delivery, I never had a sore arm or a sore shoulder or a sore elbow or a sore anything else! The arm always felt good and strong and flexible and ready for the next time I took the mound, whether it be in my next start or in an emergency get-in-there-and-slam-the-door relief appearance. Yes, I will say it again: THROW EVERY DAY!

    • Lantz says:

      Zita,

      Very wise advice! I wish we could just build a time machine and take our kids and coaches of today back to a time as you describe. As always, thanks for sharing your insight.

      Lantz

  3. Mike says:

    Lantz, Thank you so much for the information, very insightful as always. This is an issue I’m dealing with now with my 14 yr old son. Due to no school ball where we live he’s back in local league for spring before travel starts. 2nd year back in league & I’ve found potential for overuse to be much greater in league than travel. Game pitch & weekly inning limits are mandated & seem reasonable. My problem lies with rest period which seems really short. Kids can go up to 30 & pitch next day (fairly reasonable). We then have “30/40 rule” which mandates 30 hours rest up to 60 & 40 hours rest from 60 up to maximum 95 single game pitch limit. In essence the kids are getting no more than 2 & sometimes 1 day rest when “maxing out” single game. Due to 8 inning maximum per week limit “resetting” each Sunday; it’s allowable for kid to throw 95 pitches on Saturday afternoon and again on Monday evening. We’ve stuck with recommendations from my sons pitching coach which after 60 pitch outing include running next day (also preferable after game if possible), throwing & long toss on day two, bullpen by day 3 with ok to go again on day 4 or 5. He’s recommended 1 day less with under 60 pitches & ok to pitch next day less than 30. I noticed your recommendations are a little less conservative than what we’ve adhered to; should we make an adjustment? Another issue is my son does play shortstop; never had thought about that before but assume we should re think? We’re in same situation as any typical league; shortage of pitching so coaches are always pushing. Thank you so much for the valuable information you provide. Mike

    • Lantz says:

      Mike,

      No, I would reorganize. Ask your son to self diagnose by keeping up with a journal and learning to ownership in the process. I simply put those numbers up and in no way, shape or form are they concrete. It’s all about the individual. I like that you have a routine, continue to chart and adjust the routine based on the feedback received from you son. Thanks for commenting

      Lantz

  4. Mike says:

    Sorry Lantz. I meant to state your recommendations are more (not less) consertative than my sons PC

  5. Mike says:

    Thanks Lantz. The journal is an excellent idea; I agree he is at an age it’s time to take ownership although he’s never been very detailed & follow up has been difficult. The only problem letting him self diagnose is he will pitch given every opportunity. He’s been blessed (so far) in that he’s very very rarely had a sore arm after pitching; he’s also been able to reach maximimum pitches with very minimal loss of velocity. I may be off base but do feel uncomfortable letting him pitch after two (or sometimes 1 days) rest after throwing in the 95 range even though he wants to go & the rules allow. Coaches have attempted & my kid has been eager to get him back up as soon as allowed. An honest opinion will not hurt my feelings; do you think I should let him pitch as often as the rules allow?

  6. Kerry says:

    I have a 12 year old who pitches and catches. Two innings catching and then throws an inning in most games. As he gets older, some people have told us he will need to pick a position, pitch or catch? Your thoughts?

  7. Lantz says:

    Kerry,

    Yeah its tough to do both.

    As a catcher and pitcher its tough to do both for a couple of reasons.

    1. The toll on the body, especially the hips.

    2. Just overall fatigue.

    The hips tend to get tight with catchers and this increases the risk for injury with pitchers.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Lantz

  8. Mike says:

    My league is having our kids start pitching this year at age 8.

    My seasons is broken up into 3 parts:
    – 2 practice days a week until the season starts
    – 1 practice day and 1 game for 4 weeks
    – 2 games and no practice in the last 4 weeks

    How many pitches do I have them throw:
    – in the first few weeks when we have 2 practices
    – in the next 4 weeks, how many pitches in practice
    – when we have no practices, do I need to tell their parents to have them throw to them so they don’t come to a game with no work at all?

    • Lantz says:

      Mike,

      I hate to say this, but its impossible to set up a universal system that works for everyone.

      I would hand your parents a questionnaire and get information like:

      History of arm injury
      How much do they throw on a regular basis
      What is typical soreness for them, (chart on diagram)

      From there I would set up a routine, it will be easier once you get a look into what they do before and after leaving your practice.

      Lantz

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