Daily Madden: Are We Wearing Out Young Athletes?

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Oakland A’s pitcher Brett Anderson is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery, an elbow ligament reconstruction. Some doctors say the surgery is more common nowadays because too many young athletes are specializing too early in pitching or other sports positions.

“Kids at that age, it’s too early to determine what they’re going to be best at,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “Some kid does something in little league and we assume he’s going to be pitching in the major leagues in seven or eight years, and it just doesn’t go that way.”

Madden said too many coaches and parents insist a young athlete focus on just one sport. “All they do is use the same muscles and the same joints with the same motion year round, and it just wears it out… They shouldn’t let the coaches say ‘if you don’t play baseball year-round, you’re not going to make the team.'” (6:55)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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