Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pitching and Playing Other Positions on the Field

By Dan Gazaway
It is important through little league that pitchers play other positions aside from just merely pitching. This allows them to obtain other skills other than throwing. They will get the opportunity to work on fielding and developing good hand eye coordination. It is important however to consider the obstacles that can effect a pitchers arm if coaches, parents are not carefully monitoring their pitchers when they play other positions.

After Little League, a pitcher should stay more focused on just pitching because it requires a great deal of dedication and focus to become an above average pitcher. Most coaches in the collegiate level and above will not use pitchers for other positions for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons being too many opportunities for arm injuries out on the field due to overthrowing.
One of the growing concerns many people have when youth pitchers play other positions is the increased throwing pitchers participate in during the week. I know it is not healthy for a pitcher to throw 6 innings in one game and play shortstop the next game of a double header. This is too much throwing. If a pitcher has pitched a lot they should have a low number of swings and a low number of throws on the field that same day.

It is also dangerous for coaches to have their pitchers play long toss with the team the day after they have pitched in a game; particularly when that same pitcher started the game. This happens too frequently in youth Baseball and is a contributor to increased arm injuries with our youth.

Another concern that I have is youth pitchers pitching for several teams at one time. One team will start them on Tuesday and another team may use that same pitcher on Thursday on that very same week. This is too much throwing for anyone, let alone a youth pitcher who is still developing his arm. Although Baseball is highly competitive and coaches want to win, it is important that health comes before winning; or at least it should.

Learn more effective baseball drills at The Pitching Academy. It is imperative that a pitcher learns pitching mechanics and the correct drills to support those movements.

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