Youth Baseball Tournaments

Here's your situation, coach - your stud pitcher threw 43 pitches yesterday so he should be resting today. Today you're in the championship game. So, do you throw your stud pitcher again even though he should have the day off from pitching, or probably lose the weekend championship? 

My suggestion, either adhere to the MLB Pitch Smart Guidelines (posted below), or make sure you are at the hospital when your stud pitcher has UCL reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery in a few years.

INFO

So, let me lay it all out right up front - overzealous, ignorant, and/or selfish coaches are ruining both young arms, and youth baseball, by overusing young pitchers. These coaches are exponentially increasing the risk of their young stud pitchers having Tommy John surgery in their teenage years. And the coaches are doing it to win a weekend championship. 

The coaches choose a ring or trophy over their pitcher(s) arm health. We see it every weekend in the summer:

It's sad that the coaches are either ignorant (not in a derogatory sense but in a general lack of knowledge sense), they don't believe the research is accurate (I actually had a conversation with a coach who said, "I know my pitchers better than some doctor or some 'expert' somewhere."), or they don't care about the medical implications. In any case, it's poor coaching, and negligence on behalf of the coach. 

Here are some articles to read:

USA Baseball LTAD - Coaches 

Should KNOW this

Little League

Duke Health

NewsWise

US News

National Library of Medicine

Youth Sports Ortho

The research is clear - overuse injuries is a key factor in the increased rate of Tommy John surgery,

and TJ surgery in younger and younger players in recent years. 

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SOLUTION

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Coaches, get smart on the MLB Pitch Smart guidelines and adhere closely to them. 

Coaches, understand the importance of appropriate rest for your pitchers. 

Coaches stop placing the importance of a weekend tournament over the arm health of your players. 

MLB Pitch Smart 

NFHS Pitch Smart Course (Free)

AS STATED ABOVE, IF YOU'RE NOT WILLING TO ADHERE TO THE MLB PITCH SMART GUIDELINES, AT LEAST BE THERE FOR YOUR STUD PITCHER IN A FEW YEARS WHEN HE HAS UCL RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY. 

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