A System or Method of Analysis for Injury Prevention in Sports, Youth Fastpitch Softball Pitchers: A Pilot Study

Rebecca L. Fahey*, Karen L. Fahey, Michael D. Fahey†, Peter D. Ehn and Robert R. Schweyer

A System or Method of Analysis for Injury Prevention in Sports, Youth Fastpitch Softball Pitchers: A Pilot Study.

Injuries in youth (12-18-years-old) fastpitch softball pitchers are increasing as the demands on pitchers continue to escalate due to the increasing popularity and competitive nature of the sport.
Modification of programs to enhance pitchers’ performance is imperative, especially for reducing the probability of injury. There is insufficient literature examining injury prevention in youth softball pitchers. This study identifies areas within pitching biomechanics that relate pain to injury vulnerability.

There are key areas of coaching and pitching that need to be updated in the sport. A pitching coach certification program and pitcher training are essential for injury prevention. The areas needing revising include strength and endurance training for the pitchers, skill training for the coaches to enable them to recognize biomechanical errors in pitching that may lead to injuries, and certification programs for coaches to ensure accountability.

Along with this increase in pitching opportunities, there is a lack of trained softball-pitching staff. This leaves many pitching coaches, without training and knowledge of proper mechanics, working with athletes. Adolescent female athletes present unique challenges.
Coupled with high intensity physical training, the nutrient-poor American diet may predispose the adolescent female athlete to female athletic triad. A decrease in bone density or brittle bones is
related to hormonal imbalances. There is a public health concern when these young female pitchers are placed with coaches who are unfamiliar with the kinetics of fast-pitch and a female youth athlete’s specific needs. It is these factors and the intense demands of competition pitching that have produced an epidemic of fast-pitch injuries.

Sport Exerc Med Open J. 2020; 6(1): 1-8. doi: 10.17140/SEMOJ-6-175