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.