As a baseball pitcher, your arm is your most valuable asset. Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure longevity and peak performance on the mound. Here’s a comprehensive guide to arm care for youth pitching, covering the critical factors:

Personal Health

young man drinking water for youth pitching hydration
Healthy choices on and off the field contribute to your program of arm care in youth pitching.


Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining overall health and supporting muscle recovery. Aim for a balanced diet rich in lean proteins (30% of diet) with 1 gram of protein for every lb you weigh, healthy fats (30% of diet) including Omega 3 and EFA’s and supplementing these if necessary, and complex carbohydrates (40% of diet) with a glycemic index less than 60. Foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can help reduce inflammation and promote recovery. Use supplements such as a mega vitamin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Optional supplements to help with recovery include creatine and vitamin B12.


Staying hydrated is key to maintaining optimal performance and preventing injuries. Hydrate early and often – if you wait until game time, it is too late. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before, during, and after games and practices. A good rule to follow is to hydrate ½ to 1/3 of your body weight in fluid ounces and an additional 7-10oz for every 10-20 minutes of exercise. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive caffeine, as they can lead to dehydration – water is the only real form of hydration and ideally an alkaline water where you add Celtic Sea Salt for electrolytes. 


Adequate sleep is essential for muscle recovery and overall health. Aim for 7.5-9 hours of quality sleep per night and ideally waking up between REM cycles by establishing a consistent bedtime routine. Sleep dark covering all ambient light and sleep cold as sleeping hot produces more lactic acid delaying recovery. To maximize growth hormone production, focus on getting more sleep before midnight.

Preparation and Technique – Youth Pitching

Proper Warm-Up

A thorough warm-up is essential to prepare your arm for pitching. You want to warm up to throw and not throw to warm up. Throwing a baseball before a proper warm up can be harder on your arm than going over your recommended pitch count. Start your warmup by elevating your core temperature to increase blood flow to the muscles, then incorporate dynamic stretches and mobility drills that are cross-specific to pitching.

Proper Mechanics

Correct pitching mechanics are crucial for preventing injuries and maximizing performance. Work with a National Pitching coach to ensure your mechanics are sound and address any issues promptly. You are only as efficient as your most inefficient movement, strength recruited out of sequence adds unnecessary stress to your arm and shoulder.  

Adapting Your Arm

Generally, pitchers pitch too much and don’t throw enough. You should throw year-round but stay off the mound and pitching in games for at least 2 months of the year – ideally in late fall so you can begin to ramp back up a few months before the start of the next season. After your 2-month hiatus from the mound, you want to gradually increase your workload each week to avoid overuse injuries and take breaks when necessary. Listen to your arm and shoulder and adjust your pitching workload as needed. Never throw through pain. 

Workload Balance

Follow pitch count guidelines to prevent overuse injuries. Fatigue is the primary cause of injury. The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) recommends limiting pitch counts based on age to reduce the risk of arm injuries. 

A good tool to use to help manage custom workloads is the ArmCare app as you can constantly monitor your arm’s strength and range of motion. When you see your strength is low or range of motion is decreasing, you can manage your workload for the day appropriately, and when your strength is high, you can push yourself a little harder that day. Additionally, you should treat your arm like a bank account. When you pitch, you are taking energy out of your arm. You want to make sure you put that energy back into your arm before you pitch again and maintain a positive energy balance. 

Strength and Mobility

Functional Strength

You are only as strong as your weakest link – your weakest link will be where an injury will usually present itself.  Functional strength (as opposed to overall strength) means with each movement, you have balanced strength to both accelerate at an optimal level, but also decelerate that movement effectively. Having functional strength will optimize performance and limit injury risk.

Windows of Trainability for Youth Pitching

There are critical periods in a pitcher’s development when they are more receptive to different types of training stimuli. Take advantage of these windows by incorporating age-appropriate training techniques to maximize your potential and stay healthy. For example, it doesn’t help an 8-year-old to strength train with heavy weights or to throw or hold heavy weighted balls.

Stabilized Mobility

Maintaining adequate stable mobility is essential for proper pitching mechanics and injury prevention. Incorporate stretching and mobility exercises into your routine to improve flexibility and joint stability.

Trusted Youth Pitching Development – National Pitching Association

In conclusion, proper arm care for baseball pitchers involves a comprehensive approach. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can optimize your arm health and performance on the mound.

Working with a National Pitching Association certified coach will provide the guidance you need to stay healthy and achieve your personal optimal performance capabilities. Contact us now to book a youth pitching lesson or purchase a membership with us to take full advantage of our program.