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How many Pitches can my 8 year old throw per game

Mar 22, 2009
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I am curious if anyone knows how many pitches I should let my 8 year old throw per game? She is the only pitcher on her team there is a girl in lessons but is not ready to pitch a game according to her pitching coach. My daughter has been taking lessons for about 6 months and does really well but has never pitched in a game. Her last lesson she was clocked throwing 45mph fast ball in my opinion I think is very good considering she turned 8 in October. But of course I am her mother!!!:p
I met someone while on vacation and she told me there is a certain number we should allow her to pitch per game and then let the coaches figure out what to do with another pitcher. I don't want to wear her arm out at such a young age I plan on asking her pitching coach tomorrow at her lesson but I was hoping to get some feedback from other people. Anyone that can help it would be greatly appreciated!!! ;)
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,900
83
Dallas, Texas
BOTTOM LINE: No more than 3 innings per game.

There is one group of people who say, "Underhand pitching doesn't hurt kids because its a natural motion. As long as they use 'good form', they won't get hurt no matter how much they pitch." The other group says, "Doing any physical task thousands of times will cause injury." The scientific studies support the latter group.

Most likely, your DD's pitching motion is bad. It takes a long time to develop good pitching mechanics, and she just hasn't had enough time. Additionally, as soon as she is under pressure, she will likely start pitching using poor form. So, at best, she will end up learning bad habits. At worst, she will hurt herself.

Just as general information, many pre-pubescent girls throw 50 MPH, so your DD isn't quite as unique as you may think. The hard part of pitching is going from 50 MPH to 60 MPH. To pitch 60 MPH, the pitcher has to have good form.

Also, there is a difference between "cruising" speed--how fast can DD throw and throw strikes 95% of the time--and "one time maximum speed"
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
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Sluggers, or anyone else, what is your opinion on how young girls ages 8-12 should take care of there arm after pitching? I have read some studies on prolonged icing not being as benificial as people might think, basically suggesting that pitchers should throw overhand to cool down then ice for not longer than 10 or so minutes. Icing initially stimulates blood flow, but prolonged icing constricts blood vessels limiting blood flow. I would like to hear from people with actual expierence, not just theories.

Thanks,
Mike
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,900
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Dallas, Texas
There is no scientific evidence that icing promotes healing. -->NONE<-- So, the only reason anyone ices is reduce the pain. If a 12YOA pitcher needs to be iced for the pain, then that pitcher needs a lot more than frozen water--she needs to be rested for a month and needs to find a new pitching coach.

So, if a pitcher wants to put ice on her arm because that is what college pitchers do, then let her do so after she has properly warmed down with a little *underhand* ball toss. (I've never quite gotten the idea of warming down by throwing overhand. If the idea is to let the muscles you used during a game stretch and cool down slowly, wouldn't you want to use the same muscles you used during the game?)

My DDs (one played college softball, the other college basketball) didn't start icing until they were 16 YOA. They iced all the way through college. There comes a point when using ice and an anti-inflammatory makes sense. It is hard to think it makes sense at 12U.
 
Jan 6, 2009
165
0
Texas
>> It is hard to think <<

Hopefully it doesnt hurt.

Anyway, before we were aware of the benefits of icing, what we noticed is that on monday, after a long weekend, she didnt have much strength, until usually about Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday. After we started icing, say on Saturday night after the last game, she was able to be pretty strong on Sunday all the way through. Ice on Sunday night and she could throw on Monday, but we didnt. We always took Monday off but after we started icing, she was able to throw just fine on Tuesday.

She didnt have a lot of pain or aching, but would be tight with a lot of stretching type pain. The icing help this and we started at 10u, I believe when she was 10, her 3rd year of pitching. The way we did it, I got this from one of the message boards, was either an ice pack that you freeze in the freezer, or get ziploc bags and fill them. She would ice for 22 minutes and then done. Its better the closer you do it to the end of the last game or a heavy duty practice (pitching instruction day with her pitching coach was usually a 1 hour deal we did every 2 weeks).
 

obbay

Banned
Aug 21, 2008
2,201
0
Boston, MA
There is no scientific evidence that icing promotes healing. -->NONE<-- So, the only reason anyone ices is reduce the pain.
Ice reduces swelling/inflammation- which isn't something you can see and may not involve pain. Not trying to be difficult, just obsessive.
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
i heard ice reduces the chances of capillaries breaking after pitching. jennie finch told us after her clinic to always ice after pitching. some college outfielders also ice after overhand throwing!
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,900
83
Dallas, Texas
Scientific studies have found no evidence that icing helps heal an injury (Howatson, G., van Someren, D. A., Hortobagyi, T. (2006). Ice massage does not attenuate reductions in muscle function following maximal lengthening contractions. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5))

So, the only reason you would ice a pitcher's arm is to stop the pain. If a 12YOA girl is in pain after she pitches, then the parents and the coach should take her out and rest her arm for a couple of weeks, and then find someone who can teach her how to pitch.

But, of course this is softball, and teams only have one good pitcher, so basically coaches and parents "Don't care." They ice the arm, give the kid some advil, and send them back out on the mound--because everyone knows the importance of winning that Wednesday league game against the "Little Sisters of the Poor".

The way parents and coaches treat 14U, 12U and 10U pitchers borders on child abuse.
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
Intersting sluggers. I know our PT has DD ice when she is feeling pain and only using ice massage (small dixie cup frozen, she peels top away for massage, can use several times) for 5 minutes or less if the ice is causing numbness. She no longer pitches (we keep hoping she wont be pitching for high school.....coach ugh wants her to think about it). She does ice which is less and less now when she has any hurting from her impingement...which so far is healing really nicely!!! Hardly ever has any pain, no more feeling like she is carrying around a heavy bag.....and it no longer subluxes...yeah!!!! Oh and is she gets beaned with a ball and it causes swelling she will ice massage it.
 

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