Don’t Ride Your Star Too Hard

April 17, 2008

I was talking to a sports related orthopedic surgeon the other day and he told me that he has to do an awful lot of work with young pitchers, high school age, who’ve torn their rotator cuffs or developed chronic pain in their pitching arms.

He told me that the problem is that the loose, whipping motion that makes a great young pitcher, is also the one thing that makes them more susceptible to arm damage at a young age. That whipping, almost double jointed motion comes as a result of exceptionally loose joints. That means a lack of stability and quicker wear and tear.

Unfortunately there are a lot of coaches who either don’t know or don’t care to listen to that kind of wisdom. They’re always looking for the next great star, and riding him till he drops, but that star can burn out before he ever gets a chance to shine if we don’t handle him with care.