Little League Injury Prevention
SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID BASEBALL INJURY:
- Baseball Players should always take time to warm up and stretch before and after play as needed:
- Pitchers should concentrate on stretching their arm, shoulder and back muscles and throw pitches up to speed gradually.
- A catcher’s focus should be on stretching the legs and back.
- Limit the number of teams on which your child is playing in one season. Kids who play on more than one team are especially at risk for overuse injuries.
- Don’t allow your child to play one sport year round taking regular breaks and playing other sports is essential to skill development and injury prevention.
- Don’t allow your child to pitch on consecutive days and avoid pitching on multiple teams with overlapping seasons.
- Players should wear a batting helmet at the plate, in the “on deck” circle when they are waiting for their turn at bat, and during base running.
- Instruct players on proper sliding techniques. Teach children at the appropriate age to slide feet first with their hands up.
- Develop skills appropriate for a child’s age group:
- Coaches must teach and allow practice of proper sliding techniques before using a bag, including breakaway bases. Players younger than 10 should not be taught to slide.
- Emphasize control, accuracy and good mechanics
- Adhere to pitch count guidelines, such as those established by Little League Baseball
Maximum Pitch Counts
Source: Little League Baseball
- Speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries or prevention strategies:
- Good communication between doctors, players, parents, and coaches is key to the diagnosis and treatment of baseball injuries.
- Don’t encourage children to play through pain and be aware of their mannerisms on the field. If they appear to be injured, seek help before symptoms become severe. Young players may not be able to recall exactly how an injury happened or describe their symptoms in detail. In fact, they may even hide injuries because of concern about being removed from play.
More tips on baseball and softball injury prevention
SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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