Tommy John injuries becoming more common in youth baseball -

Tommy John injuries becoming more common in youth baseball

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A little league pitcher. Credit: KMOV A little league pitcher. Credit: KMOV

( – Tommy John has increasingly become an injury not just for athletes in the Major Leagues, but for youth and teens. 

Over the past several years, there has been a growing trend toward specializing in one sport. With a spike in major injuries like Tommy John, there is a growing concern amongst coaches that specialization might be a cause. 

Michael Hunt is the pitching coach for the Parkway South baseball team. Although the high school season gets underway in a few weeks, many athletes have been playing ball year round. 

“To me, it’s not as much the number of pitches a kid is throwing at one time, it’s kids are throwing 11-12 months out of the year. So, they are never actually getting a break,” Hunt said. 

Hunt said specialization has been driven by many parents who see the money and fame available in professional sports if their child is the next superstar. As a result, injuries that used to only be seen in the pros have made their way down to youth leagues. 

“Everyone is so in love with velocity, so there is a lot of training for kids to throw harder and harder… it’s hard to find that good mix where kids are getting good instruction, getting challenged, but they’re not being asked to play 10, 11, 12 months out of the year.”

Coach Hunt said he challenged young athletes to play multiple sports, not just one sport harder.  

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