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Overuse Syndrome: Tips for Parents and Coaches of Youth Baseball Players

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Positive Coaching Alliance is proud to share information on overuse syndrome from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, the team physicians for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.

The doctors at Midwest Orthopaedics have seen enough overuse injuries in youth athletes that they have generated tips for parents and coaches to keep young people healthy while playing sports. Particularly in baseball, overuse injuries occur when kids repeatedly throw the ball, and the throwing arm becomes stressed. This is a gradual injury that often impacts young skeletons that don’t have time to heal after use.

Since this overuse injury builds over time, children may not express pain immediately, but it may cause them to alter their running or swinging motions. Parents should stay tuned in to their children’s behavior and be aware of any changes that may be associated with overuse. Additionally, parents should abide by the four tips below to ensure their young baseball player stays safe:

  1. Know the pitch count – proper pitch counts and rest days can decrease overuse among young pitchers.
  2. Watch for psychological burnout – your children should be having fun! If they start acting sullen, they may be experiencing pain from overuse.
  3. Strongly consider not playing year-round – Give your kid (and his or her body) a break!
  4. No weight training on game days – weight training on game days decreases flexibility and can cause further susceptibility to injury.

To learn more about the treatment of overuse syndrome, and to see an ABC News segment on this issue, visit the site linked below.

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