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Give Your Arm a Break: Rest and Recovery for High School Pitchers

The high school baseball season is a grind, with players putting in long hours on the field, training, practicing, and competing in games. For pitchers especially, the physical demands are immense, with their throwing arms under a tremendous amount of stress inning after inning, game after game. As the season winds down, it's crucial for pitchers to give their arms a break and allow for proper rest and recovery before gearing up again for summer baseball. How much rest is needed depends on the pitcher's overall workload during the high school season.

For pitchers who logged 60 or more innings, a full 3-4 week shutdown period is recommended to allow the arm to fully recover. During this shutdown, pitchers should avoid any throwing to give the arm a complete break. However, it is encouraged that they continue mobility and strength training in the weight room to maintain overall strength and athleticism. Pitchers who threw between 40-60 innings should take 2-3 weeks completely off from throwing. Again, weight room work emphasizing T-Spine, hip, and shoulder mobility should continue during this shutdown window. For pitchers under 40 innings, a shorter 1-2 week break from throwing is likely sufficient for recovery before ramping up activities again.

While these rest periods may seem excessive, they are absolutely vital for preventing overuse injuries and keeping young arms healthy. The amount of stress put on a pitcher's arm during a season can lead to serious problems like tendonitis, fractures, and even torn ligaments if not properly managed. After the designated shutdown period based on workload, pitchers should then go through a progressive restart period of 1 week per shutdown week to gradually build back up to a game-ready state. A general rule of thumb is for every day taken off of throwing, a pitcher will need that many days to build back up. (14 days off = 14 day return to throw period before playing in a game) This controlled ramp-up further reduces injury risk.

Kova Sports can be an invaluable resource during these deload and ramp-up training phases. As an all-inclusive baseball training facility, Kova utilizes state-of-the-art equipment like dynamometry, Trackman, and other KPIs to track grip strength, body weight, subjective wellness questionnaires, and more. All throwing athletes at Kova are programmed individually, with a focus on managing workload, developing skills and pitch arsenals/splits, and evaluating throwing mechanics through full assessments. These assessments look at anatomical capacity, power output through specialized testing, and overall movement quality. By leaning on the expertise of the Kova staff and their comprehensive, data-driven approach, pitchers can ensure they are recovering optimally during deload periods and ramping up efficiently to avoid setbacks. The high school season puts a ton of miles on a pitcher's arm. Don't ignore the body's need to recover fully, and take advantage of resources like Kova Sports to keep your arm healthy and strong for summer ball and beyond.


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