It’s been asked so many times, it’s hard to keep track of.
“How do you protect arms and stick to pitch counts/limits in tournament situations?”
Put your pitchers on a rotation. Stick to it, not matter what. Have hard limits. Being so concerned with who’s going to pitch in the championship game hinders a pitchers development as it’s not always guaranteed you will get there.
Coaches who plan like this will find that they end up pitching that kid, they are saving, in an earlier game, the day before and even worse, in the same day, so they have a better chance at getting to that championship game. And then starting that kid, sometimes in the same day, in that championship game.
What also happens is that pitcher who is being saved, ends up not pitching at all and then that pitcher misses the opportunity to develop.
Plan with the players development in mind. Stop planning for the win!!
This is one difference in Development based coaching and Win based coaching.
Coaches, stop being 50/50. If there is even a hint of you that makes decisions based on what is best for you and your ego, then it’s NOT all about the kids. If you want to develop at all costs, THEN BE ALL IN!! You either have a decided and committed heart to the kids or you don’t.
Once again, this is youth baseball, not the big leagues.