There is a large body of evidence that confirms that taking the necessary amount of time off from overhead throwing is imperative to the long-term development of youth athletes for a multitude of different reasons. In reviewing survey and comparisons of both healthy and injured populations of youth athletes, it is clear that those who throw year-round are much more susceptible to higher rates of injury, burn-out, and fatigue. For this reason, we feel that a good rule of thumb for youth athletes is to take 3-4 months off from overhead throwing per calendar year.
By taking the requisite amount of time off from baseball to play a different sport, it has been found that youth athletes can learn flexible movement solutions and develop skills in different social settings to lead to further growth. From a general adaptation perspective, taking the requisite time off for recovery is absolutely necessary for athletes to reach higher levels of performance and enters level of supercompensation.
For more specific recommendations, we highly encourage you to look at the MLB PitchSmart guidelines. Based on the work of several different studies looking at usage rates and their association with injury, complying with MLB PitchSmart guidelines is a great way to manage athlete workload and build out a healthy long-term approach to training youth athletes.
All of our youth programs are designed to incorporate a healthy and safe protocol to help youth athletes develop efficient movement patterns organically while having fun in the process. Please visit our youth training FAQ or reach out to us via email at email@example.com for more information.