There are three things that contribute to keeping a pitcher’s arm healthy: Workload, biomechanical efficiency, and functional strength. Of those three things, the one parents, coaches and athletes can all easily do is count pitches.
Kids need to learn basic catching and throwing skills before they should even think about learning to pitch. The process of growing up as an athlete is much more enjoyable for both kids and parents if you move at an age-appropriate pace and take pleasure in small gains.
During the pitching delivery, a pitcher’s total body needs to get to the right place at the right time with the right sequence of movements. The Mustard app looks at all the biomechanical variables of the pitching delivery in a way that is much more accurate than the eyes could ever be.
In a pitching delivery, energy is transferred from the ground up, through the legs and into the torso. Up to 80 percent of that energy is then carried into velocity by angular torque. The final 20 percent of that energy is transferred through linear torque in the torso.
As a pitcher’s shoulders begin to square up toward home plate, the glove needs to swivel so the palm is facing the chest and stabilize over the landing foot, inside the width of the torso, between the shoulders and the belly button.
Head position is incredibly important in the pitching delivery. If your head moves too much, you’ll first have difficulty throwing strikes, and you’ll eventually run the risk of injuries from the excessive stress.
The physical act of throwing is an adaptation and an accommodation and is not something you should start and stop. Once you start throwing, you keep throwing as long as you’re going to be a throwing athlete.