John Smoltz talk
As a young baseball player, it is not normal to have medial elbow pain (pain on the inside of the elbow) that is restricting your ability to throw. It can be caused by an irritation of the growth plate or from an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. Often, an injury to the ligament results in Tommy John surgery.
As this surgery gets more and more common, it can be misconstrued, that this is normal for baseball players and especially pitchers. It is not. This injury is caused by repetitive trauma over time that causes a breakdown in the ligament. If a young player is having this injury it is often the result of too many pitches at a competitive level.
We all want our children to play and have fun and to excel in the sport that he/she chooses, but we also need to keep in mind that we want them to be healthy adults. Participating in one sport year round at a competitive level has negative consequences including injuries, sometime serious injuries. We all need to encourage young athletes to play multiple sports, take time off their main sport, and start a strength and conditioning program. For those athletes, that have a passion for one sport we can work with them to develop skills and have fun, but to limit the competitiveness in the off season so that they have a chance to recover.
This is a great article on Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz discussing his surgery and his recommendations for young players.
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*This site is for educational purposes only, it is not meant to diagnose, treat or replace medical advice. Before starting an exercise program always make sure that you are healthy and able to do so safely.*