Baseball advices

“How Many Pitches Should I Allow My Child to Throw?”

“How Many Pitches Should I Allow My Child to Throw?” This is the most common question
asked to sports medicine professionals by parents of youth baseball players. The question really is how many pitches can a child throw without injuring the throwing arm. Organized leagues have shared this concern for several years; as a result, most youth leagues limit the number of innings a child may pitch (Tables 1 and 2). However, most people now believe that limits should be placed on the number of pitches, rather than the number of innings.

To determine recommendations, USA Baseball Medical & Safety Advisory Committee
commissioned the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) to study pitch limits in youth baseball. ASMI sent surveys to 85 baseball experts, consisting of orthopaedic surgeons and coaches, about pitch limits and other injury factors. Twenty-eight of these experts responded. Results from the survey are shown in Tables 3 – 6.

Table 3 shows the maximum number of pitches recommended per game and per week. The large “standard deviations” reflect large variation in opinion among those surveyed. The recommended minimum number of pitches corresponding to 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, or 4-day rest requirements are shown in Table 4. For example, if an 8-year-old pitcher throws at least 21 pitches in a game, the survey recommends that he should be required to rest at least one day; if he throws 34 or more pitches in a game, he should be required to rest two days.

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Several respondents commented on the concept and definition of rest. Issues such as whether a child should pitch at home or play different positions in games during the “rest period” was discussed. Some felt that youth pitchers throw too many total throws, while others felt that children today don’t throw enough. ASMI supports the belief that, in general, youth baseball players in the United States do not throw enough. While young pitchers should be given adequate rest after pitching in competition, they should also be encouraged to throw in other settings (playing other positions, playing catch with parent or friends, practicing pitching, etc.). Throwing is necessary for a young pitcher to strengthen his/her arm and body. Common sense and listening
to the pitcher for complaints of discomfort or fatigue can greatly help the coach or parent decide the right amount of rest and practice needed.

Opinions and comments on other safety-related issues in youth baseball were asked. Results are presented in Table 5. Many respondents commented that the quality of the pitcher’s mechanics is an important injury factor. The importance of strength training was also mentioned. Table 6 shows the recommended age for pitchers to begin throwing various types of pitches. Because these results were based upon opinions and not observational data, their significance 2 should be interpreted with caution. The small sample size of survey participants (N=28) must also be considered. Based upon this survey, the following conclusions may be drawn:

• Number of pitches is more important than number of innings when determining rest
requirements
• The maximum number of pitches allowed in one outing should increase with age.
• A pitcher should be limited to two appearances per week.
• Compared to younger pitchers, older pitchers can throw a few more pitches for a given
number of days rest.
• Participation in multiple leagues, playing other positions, and practice pitching should be
considered when defining and regulating rest.
• Breakaway bases should be used.
• In general, a child can start throwing a fastball at age 8, a change-up at 10, and a curveball
at 14. All other pitches should not be introduced until high school age.
• Improper technique is a major factor in injury potential.
• Conditioning of the throwing arm and entire body can reduce a young pitcher’s risk of
injury.
• While the number of pitches should be limited, the young athlete should be encouraged to throw. This includes playing catch, playing other positions besides pitcher, and practicing pitching. When symptoms of arm discomfort or fatigue arise, longer periods of rest are
recommended.

These conclusions and recommendations are based upon the opinions of baseball and medical experts. However, the great variation in opinions collected indicate the need for more facts. USA Baseball and ASMI plan to study pitching in youth baseball and measure the number of pitches thrown, types of pitches thrown, pitching mechanics used, and other factors of interest. How these factors affect the risk of injury can then be determined.

Recovery Times

Age 1 Day Rest 2 Day Rest 3 Day Rest 4 Day Rest
8-10 21 34 43 51
11-12 27 35 55 58
13-14 30 36 56 70
15-16 25 38 62 77
17-18 27 45 62 89

The survey also presented recommendations for the age at which a player could learn different types of pitches. These are listed below.

Survey – Age Recommendation for Learning Various Pitches

Pitch Age
Fastball 8 – 10
Change-Up 10 – 13
Curve ball 14 – 16
Knuckle ball 15 – 18
Slider 16 – 18
Fork ball 16 – 18
Screw ball 17 – 19

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keaton Everitt

Keaton Everitt & Everitt Athletics

Everitt Athletics was started by Keaton Everitt to change the way pitching is taught and coached on the amateur level. He wants to develop not only a more consistent pitcher mechanically, but also a smarter, stronger, more conditioned, dynamic, and mentally tough pitcher.  Lessons learned from the game of baseball not only help to succeed on the diamond but also in life.   Keaton feels very strongly that if he knew what he knows now back in high school, his career in baseball would have been a lot more successful and a whole lot healthier!

Pitching mechanics are over taught and as Keaton progressed through each level, he found the methods and reasoning’s behind each coaching approach to pitching as different as the next.  The higher up Keaton went through the ranks, the simpler mechanics were taught.  The simpler a pitcher makes his mechanics, the better off they are going to be.  There is not enough focus on postural and functional strength, especially when it comes to young athletes.

Keaton has been there first hand as a player to witness and implement the coaching at the high school, division-1, and professional levels. He wants to teach and mentor athletes on everything that he did not learn or experience until much later in life.  This will be invaluable to young athletes as they deal with injury, coaches, recruiting, success, failure, and all things pitching related.   These are all things that Keaton experienced without any guidance as he was young and has regrets about many aspects of his career.  Had he know what he knows now, things could have been much different, and he wants to relay that to your kids.

It’s amazing how much difference exists at each level is when it comes to pitching, coaching styles, and information.  He was fortunate enough to be around some of the greatest names in major league baseball today and has picked up information and knowledge that can only be learned playing and experiencing it first hand.  It wasn’t until Keaton got into the professional ranks with the New York Yankees that he truly figured himself out as a pitcher and became consistent and successful, and he owes it all to the simplified approach to mechanics he was coached on by former big leaguer Carlos Reyes.

Keaton was taken back at how little was really known and how poorly pitching was being taught at the amateur level.  He feels that things could be a lot different for him now, had he known what he knows now, not only about pitching, but the game of baseball in general, strength & conditioning, nutrition, college, recruiting, and the draft.

He now has the drive to completely change how pitching is taught and enrich his athletes more on the mental side of the game as well.  He also includes mentoring into his pitching lesson plans and lets kids know first hand, what to expect as they progress each year and what it takes to make it to the next level both physically and mentally. You will not find a more complete, comprehensive training program for you child than with Keaton.

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Keaton’s Playing Experience:

In 2001, Keaton was recruited to pitch at the University of Washington after graduating from Juanita High School.  He red-shirted his first season after elbow surgery and missed most of his red-shirt freshman year as well.  In 2004, he earned a starting spot in the weekend rotation that included the 2008 Nation League Cy-Young Award winner and started and won Coach Ken Knutson’s 400th game.    Everitt struggled with command and consistency and finished the 2004 and 2005 seasons out of the bullpen and was a spot starter.

In 2005, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 17th round and went on to win three league championships: once in the Gulf Coast League and twice in the NY-Penn League. After getting in the Yankees system and learning what mechanics really where about and how to play the game, his command and consistency issues vanished. He learned to read hitters and how to set them up.   He was able to consistently add 4 mph to his tw-seam fastball that topped out at 94 and added close to 7 mph on his slider that ran as high as 86.  After compiling a career 11-0 record and finishing his last season with the Charleston Riverdogs in the South AtlanticLeague in 2006 with a combined ERA of 1.52, he tore his labrum during the 2007 season and officially hung them up in 2008 after electing to not have surgery.

Coaching Experience:

In 2008, he started as the pitching coach at Eastlake High School.  After a coaching change, he moved closer to home as the pitching coach for Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, Washington.  That year the Kangs went on to win their division and win the KingCo 4A Championship!  He also helped coach the KingCo 4A Player of the Year and First Team All-League/State Pitcher, Christian Kaiser.  The Kangs had a dominant year on the mound leading the league in strikeouts (131 in 112 innings) and opponents batting average (.178), and finished second in ERA (2.31) and wins (12).

Everitt also coaches for the Eastlake SammamishBaseball Association withKyle Larsen in the Sammamish and Redmond area.  In 2008 they coached the 15u team and in 2009 with the first 18u team for the Eastlake Tigers which won the 2009 Palouse Summer Series TournamentPullman, WA.  He has also worked with Sammamish BaseballAcademy summer camps as an instructor/coach and with Washington Baseball Camps during his career at UW.  Keaton has also started working at Maximum Sports Conditioning in Bellevuetolearn more about the strength & conditioning side of athletics.