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Appreciating the Pitcher’s Toll of Shoulder Pain

Pitching can take a toll on an athlete’s shoulders

1,057 pitches.

Odicci Alexander of James Madison college threw 1,057 pitches in a three-day weekend tournament at the 2021 Women’s College World Series. This outstanding effort allowed her to help her team go the furthest into the Women’s College World Series as a non-seeded team.

A softball pitcher may pitch as many as six 7-inning games during a weekend tournament; and often the best pitcher on a college team pitches most, if not all of the games each season (Werner, Guido et al. 2005). This may result in approximately 1200-1500 pitches being thrown in a 3-day period for a windmill pitcher, as compared to 100-150 for a baseball pitcher (Werner, Guido et al. 2005).

Even without knowledge of softball or baseball pitching, one can appreciate the toll taken on shoulders for each sport. Evolving research is trying to protect these athletes and promote them longevity in the sports they play. If parents and coaches have athletes in these sports, recognizing injuries and monitoring their techniques can help these athletes stay physically healthy.

Here’s a chart to help decide which pain might require more assistance.

pain and soreness chart

Pitching for both softball and baseball can prove to be quite taxing on the body.

Helping young athletes recognize different types of pain will help them continue their love of the sport.

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