Former Colorado Rockies Pitcher Jason Hirsh, radio personality Andy Lindahl on youth baseball coaching, sport specialization

A coach speaks with a boy as he practices baseball skills at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2018. - On a searing hot summer's day in Washington, a group of children are playing baseball in a pristine park that stands at odds with its surroundings in the city's rough-and-tumble southeast.Parents and grandparents shout encouragement from the stands as they chow down on hot dogs, some seeking shelter under the shade of a blue tent. This quintessential scene is taking place in little leagues across the United States -- and would be unremarkable if it weren't for the stark color divide in the stands: one section is entirely white and the other all black, reflected in the players on the field.Currently batting are an African American youth team of 12-year-olds representing the Mamie Johnson league of southeast DC. (Photo by Issam AHMED / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSAM AHMED/AFP via Getty Images)
A coach speaks with a boy as he practices baseball skills at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2018. - On a searing hot summer's day in Washington, a group of children are playing baseball in a pristine park that stands at odds with its surroundings in the city's rough-and-tumble southeast.Parents and grandparents shout encouragement from the stands as they chow down on hot dogs, some seeking shelter under the shade of a blue tent. This quintessential scene is taking place in little leagues across the United States -- and would be unremarkable if it weren't for the stark color divide in the stands: one section is entirely white and the other all black, reflected in the players on the field.Currently batting are an African American youth team of 12-year-olds representing the Mamie Johnson league of southeast DC. (Photo by Issam AHMED / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSAM AHMED/AFP via Getty Images) /
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TAINAN, TAIWAN – AUGUST 06: USA players celebrate their 7-2 Gold Medal victory during the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Gold Medal match between United States and Chinese Taipei on August 6, 2017 in Tainan, Taiwan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)
TAINAN, TAIWAN – AUGUST 06: USA players celebrate their 7-2 Gold Medal victory during the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup Gold Medal match between United States and Chinese Taipei on August 6, 2017 in Tainan, Taiwan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images) /

For those that don’t know, I have a 9-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter. So as you can see I have not dealt with the high school athletic culture since I graduated in 2004. That is why this quote by Andy Lindahl hit me so hard “I coached for a guy that if you did not do all his camps or do these certain tournaments, you were not in consideration for varsity playing time.”

My only response to this was “Are you kidding me?” This is supposed to be the person that is the reason in the chaos, calm within the storm.

Yet, he is just exacerbating the undue pressure put on so many young athletes to give up so much of their time to a single sport. We end up with stats like 57% of Tommy John surgeries are done on high-school athletes (ages 15-19).

A lot of people attribute these stats to advents of things like 9 year-olds throwing curveballs. But as was pointed out by Jason Hirsh when asked about this, “[t]he studies show that the curveball is no more damaging than the fastball.”

This study confirms that fact, surprisingly it actually shows that throwing a fastball is actually worse than either a curveball or change-up. This actually confirms that the volume of pitches thrown, not the type, is the biggest culprit in injuries to youth athletes.

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