Should baseball players keep throwing all year long?

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Give your pitching arm a rest until January. (istockphoto.com)

Another baseball season has come and gone and the cold of winter is knocking on the door. It seems like just yesterday spring training was beginning with lots of potential for everyone from Little League to the Major Leagues. With colder days upon us, should baseball players continue throwing all the way through till next spring? Will it help you for next season?

The answer is No! The best thing a baseball player can do in November and December is stop playing baseball, stop throwing, stop hitting, and stop everything about baseball. Grab a basketball or pick up some other sport or activity but whatever you, do NOT throw.

I know some individuals will tell you that the off-season is a great time to practice and fine tune your throwing or pitching mechanics. Few positives, however, can come out of throwing in November and December, and overuse injuries are common especially if baseball players are not given adequate rest. Those injuries may occur this season or may catch up with you in future seasons.

Dr. James Andrews and many other throwing experts recommend 3-4 months of no throwing with a minimum of 2 months. Most professional baseball players stop throwing during their last game (Sept or Oct) and don’t resume throwing until mid to late December.

Allow yourself or your child the needed time to recover both physically and mentally from the long baseball season. You won’t get caught behind other players, instead when the season resumes, you will be more energized and excited to begin. 

If you want to maximize your success and stay healthy next season, choose a workout program that addresses movement dysfunction and poor posture. Once the posture and movement issues are addressed, a strength training program can be initiated to build strength the correct way, with a program centered on glute and scapula strength as well as stretching for your lats, pecs and posterior shoulder.

So now that baseball season is over, do yourself a favor: put your favorite baseball glove in a box, wrap it up as a present, and don't open it before Christmas. Once January rolls around you will feel fresh and you can begin a throwing program in preparation for next season.


Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.