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Baseball has been played in America longer than any other team sport. It continues to be popular among youth athletes today, with an estimated 8.6 million youth ages 6-17 playing the game in the United States alone.1 Statistically, it is one of the safest sports to play compared to other high-contact sports. However, both acute injuries from direct contact with the ball or another player and overuse injuries result from baseball. 

Get Fit Tips from an NEBH Athletic Trainer
Preventing Injuries
Common Injuries
Injury Statistics

Get Fit Tips from an NEBH Athletic Trainer 

Baseball requires short bursts of intense activity and a lot of mobility.  Hitting, throwing and base running are the main aspects of the sport you will want to train for. Hitting and throwing are explosive rotational activities that require torso and shoulder flexibility as well as rotational stability and power. For base running, you will want to work on improving your speed and agility. 

Consider the following to improve performance:

  • Focus on full body strength. Hitting and throwing starts with power from the legs and hips, it doesn’t just come from your upper body.

  • Rotational stability exercises for the core and thoracic spine can improve mobility.

  • Build on the rotational stability with power exercises such as the medicine ball toss.

  • Shoulder mobility is imperative to maintain flexibility and strength.

  • Consider sprinting workouts of high intensity for a short period of time instead of long duration cardio.

  • Stay healthy by taking time to warm-up and cool down properly. This includes throwing progressions and counting your number of throws.

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Preventing Injuries

To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:

  1. Warm up and stretch before you play.

  2. Ensure your equipment, such as your cleats and helmet, fits properly.

  3. Players under age 10 should not be permitted to slide during games. Older plays should be taught proper sliding technique to ensure safety.

  4. Pitchers should follow the guidelines for youth baseball, which limit the number and types of pitches thrown per week. If a pitcher complains of shoulder pain, consult a doctor.

  5. Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly ones statistically prone to injury.

  6. Consult with your coach or athletic trainer about ways to prevent overuse injuries.

  7. Have a physical examination at the start of the season to make sure you’re healthy to play.

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Common Injuries 

    • Bursitis      
    • Rotator cuff tear
    • Shoulder impingement
    • Shoulder instability  
    • Tendinitis  

Arm & Elbow
    • Medial elbow ligament tears
    • Tennis Elbow   
    • Thrower's elbow/Golfer's Elbow

Hand & Wrist
    • Tendonitis

Leg & Knee
    • Meniscal tear
    • Muscle strain or pull

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Injury Statistics

  • Baseball is one of the safest high school sports in the United States with a reported injury rate of 1.26 injuries per 1000 athletic exposures1

  • 20% of children ages 8 to 12 and 45% of those ages 13 to 14 will have arm pain during a single youth baseball season2

  • Since 2000, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball players2

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Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.

“Policy Statement: Baseball and Softball,” American Academy of Pediatrics, 129 (2012): 842-856, Reaffirmed July 2015.

“Youth Sports Injuries Statistics,” STOP Sports Injuries.