Dr. James Andrews has made a living repairing the arms of pitchers who have blown them out, now he’s working to try and prevent players from ever having to see him. Along with physical therapist colleague Dr. Kevin Wilk, Andrews is creating an app that is designed to help educate players and coaches on how to prevent elbow and shoulder injuries.
The new program, Throw Like a Pro, will be an iOS application released in the coming weeks. It will feature four main elements centered on scientific data and input from the two doctors spearheading the project. Recently pitchers have been getting Tommy John surgery at younger and younger ages, and Andrews is seeking to halt that trend.
One section of the app includes recommendations from the American Sports Medicine Institute including focusing on proper mechanics, not velocity. It will also contain preseason and pre-game preparation guides, including video instruction of throwing exercises from Wilk.
The best feature of the app in my opinion is a pitch counter and rest calculator. The data can also be stored so players, coaches and parents can track the amount of pitches thrown in a game or a season. The new app will also create specific guidelines for each pitcher based on a number of factors, including age.
At the very least a program like this will help educate parents and young players to the dangers of not monitoring pitching habits and workloads.
Wilk says that the goal of the app is to reduce shoulder and elbow injuries in youth baseball players, while also attempting to improve performance.
Frankly, I think this is a great idea and applaud Andrews and Wilk for working to help prevent injuries. Sure they’ll make money off of it, but both guys would do so without the app anyway, so to me it is an example of them giving back a little.