The illogic of over-pitching

I should probably stop reading the newspapers, because the things I read sometimes just drive me crazy. Here’s the latest.

I was reading about a local high school team and an overview of its season. As part of the story the coach talked about how his star pitcher had pitched all but one inning in the 26 games they had played so far. The team’s record was 7-19 at the time of the article.

That’s crazy to me on several levels. One I’ve talked about before — the risk of overuse/repetitive injuries. It has to take a toll on your body, as more and more studies are showing.

But even if you discount that part of it, it doesn’t make sense for other reasons. Not the least of which is lack of a backup plan. If your star pitcher has pitched all but one inning, and then she gets hurt for whatever reason, what do you do then? What if an unscrupulous coach decides that the path to winning Regionals or a conference championship is to take that pitcher out of the game? The season is basically over for them. What if she twists an ankle or jams a finger? What do they do then? 

Then there’s your basic fatigue. It’s gruelling mentally as well as physically to pitch that many games  in such a short period of time. While this pitcher will likely rise to the challenge (as she has in the past), she could certainly come in fresher and better-prepared with a little rest now and then. She could come in even more ready to play.

Winning is great, that’s for sure. But their record is already 7-19. Are you telling me there isn’t anybody else in that school who could’ve pitched in some of those 19 losses?

It just doesn’t make sense. Splitting off some of that pitching time would be better for everyone — the pitcher, the team, and even the coach. The sooner coaches learn that the better off everyone will be.


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on May 16, 2009, in Coaching, Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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