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A key to arm health and strength is proper mechanics and conditioning. There are keys for both older and younger players.
Throwing Preparation for High School Players:
* Long Toss: All players should begin playing long catch for 15 minutes, 3 times per week.
If you don't have a place to throw long (at least 100') then throw into a net.
* Pitchers should also be doing light weight rotator exercises and should do some pre-throwing rotator movements to "heat up" the rotator. MANY HIGH SCHOOL PITCHER ARM INJURIES ARE CAUSED BY LACK OF OFF-SEASON PREPARATION.
* Proper Footwork: Fielders/Catchers should be working on proper footwork at all times, even in their game of catch.
Throwing Preparation for Younger Players
* PARENTS NEED TO CHECK GRIP: All young players grip the ball wrong when they begin playing. That is because their hand is too small. To grip the ball, the young player places the thumb under or outside their index finger. The proper position is in between the index and middle finger. The player needs to make this adjustment as soon as their hand is big enough, but many keep the improper position up into their high school years. This hurts their velocity and control.
* Learn proper footwork: "Most bad throws are caused by bad feet.." The earlier players learn to use their feet for accuracy, the more fun they will have playing.
MSA has programs and materials (such as our Workout Member Book) that cover throwing programs and arm exercises. MSA instructor and former major league pitcher, Geoff Zahn, has developed programs for high school pitchers that are among the best in the country.