Michael Maloney, director of sports medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, says parents and coaches can't expect teens to tell them when their arms are tired, and they need to limit players' pitches during practice and in games.
"Kids are ashamed if they don't throw through pain or have to take time off due to injury."
Throwing too many pitches in one game is one of the most common causes of injury, Maloney
A study by the American Sports Medicine Institute
in Birmingham showed that young pitchers who play more than eight months of baseball in a year are five times as likely to need surgery later as those who pitch 5½ months a year.
says it is vital that young athletes take at least three months off from throwing each year to rest their arms.
Though the possible harm of throwing curveballs has not been proved, most experts, including Gatlin, say athletes should not start throwing them until they reach age 14 or 15.
The motion exerts too much pressure on the elbow, he