There are several reasons why these young pitchers are suffering arm injuries. I'm going to explain five different reasons why youth pitchers are most likely developing arm injuries.
1. Improper and Ineffective Warm-Ups
This is an issue at all the competitive levels of baseball, but especially prevalent at the youth level. You have probably seen it. A young pitcher will go out to the foul line, do a couple arm circles, and then immediately start throwing.
Baseball pitchers must focus on developing a complete warm-up routine that consists of dynamic, not static stretching. Static stretching does not properly prepare the muscles and joints for strenuous activity.
Throwing a baseball is one of the most strenuous activities in any sport, so it is important that pitcher utilize dynamic stretching before any type of throwing routine. Most importantly, focus on warming up the entire body including the legs, core, and then eventually the rotator cuff and forearm.
Properly throwing a baseball requires a full body kinetic chain of energy, and this is why your entire body must be prepared.
2. Way Too Much Throwing
How many times have you seen an entire baseball team "warming up" their arms on the foul line for what seems to be almost an eternity? This is only the first problem. The biggest issue is that youth pitchers are pitching on three to four days rest after throwing 80-100 pitches in their previous appearance.
This type of irresponsible coaching is largely responsible for the increase in future arm injures due to overuse.
3. No Post-Game or Recovery Routine
Along with ineffective warm-ups, youth pitchers also disregard any type of post-throwing recovery. A pitcher's recovery period usually consists of full body static stretching, especially in the rotator cuff. This is a necessary component of any pitchers routine because it increase the blood flow to the muscles, and allows for quicker recovery between throwing sessions.
Unfortunately, most youth pitchers will not take the time and coaches will not enforce this post-game stretching regime.
4. Inefficient Mechanics
Proper pitching mechanics are essential for prevent arm injury, and for increasing velocity. However, in most instances, youth pitchers have very inefficient mechanics that rely heavily on the throwing arm. These pitchers simply have not learned how to utilize their entire body to deliver a baseball.