Worn Out Before She Starts?

I respect a travel ball coach who called with an observation. It occurred to him that pitch counts involve far more than just the number of pitches she throws in a game.

He had asked a pitcher to be warm in case she was needed as a reliever. On the first day of the tournament she did her warmups a couple of times, she was not needed, and then she pitched the final game. They did the same thing on day two. When she pitched that last game of that day, it was obvious that she was very tired. The coach realized that her real pitch count far exceeded her game pitch count, so he changed his routine and the outcome was far better. You have no idea how much I appreciate his picking up on that.
We don’t suggest a specific number when it comes to pitch counts. We are engaged in some very high level medical research this year, which we will discuss later, but one of the things we discussed early in the planning was pitch counts. We will let the research make the final determination, but we feel that a kid who has perfect form and is in peak condition can probably pitch three times as much as a kid who has neither advantage. Most of the new kids who come to us with injuries were not pitching a lot of innings. Their bodies could not take it. When we fixed the issue that caused the injury she has new-found endurance and efficiency.
But, we have noticed that, if a kid gets appropriately warm for a game, she expends a lot of physical and mental energy. If she does that several times in a weekend, when she gets warm then cools down and then gets warm again, that takes a huge toll on her body.
The bottom line is this. Be like the coach. Engage the mind. Be observant. Protect your pitchers. We see far too many kids who never reach their potential because they were over-used, under-utilized, or someone simply did not know how to properly develop them. It is an art and a science and she has no background in this area. This is where a coach or a parent has to step forward and help guide her.

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