To measure the rate at which muscles
fatigue (tire) under different conditions.
Little League Pitcher
Courtesy USA Today
Over use causes between 30-50% of
all injuries seen in young teens. The process starts when a repeated
motion weakens either bone or tendon. Little-league-elbow is an overuse
injury that is very common in young baseball players. To prevent such
an injury, teens should not throw more than 80-100 pitches in a week.
Also they should not throw more than 1,000 pitches in a year.
- You have volunteered to be the trainer
of a Babe Ruth League baseball team. Your starting pitcher has a really
bad pain in his pitching arm, but he doesn't want to miss his next
start. When you look at his pitch count for the week you see that he
has already thrown 110 pitches. You have no choice; he has to rest his
You know that when muscles are tight
and cold they are more likely to suffer overuse injury. But your
pitchers already warm up by throwing a few practice pitches before they
face a batter. You have decided to do an experiment. Does warming
muscles before an activity slow the process of muscle fatigue or does
it add to it? Is it better to warm a muscle by doing the same activity
or by doing a different activity?
- Based on team data, which condition
causes muscles to tire the most? Write a training plan suggesting ways
to prevent overuse injuries in young teens. Your plan should include at
least 3 strategies with supporting data.
This activity was
developed by the Event-Based Science Institute with generous support
from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. A teacher
version of this and all other
baseball/biology activities is available free from the Institute. This
Muscle Fatigue activity was was written by Susan Fazio, science teacher
at Tilden Middle School, North Bethesda, MD.
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