Unfortunately, nowadays, many kids don’t usually get a true off-season. A Little Leaguer getting elbow pain from throwing year-round is no different than an adult with a desk job who gets carpel tunnel syndrome from typing too much. Truthfully, the Little Leaguer is worse off, as there is more force and velocity to each his movements and his body is still developing and vulnerable to injury.
Further, believe it or not, specializing in one sport too early on can actually impair a child’s development within that sport. According to Brian Grasso, founder and executive director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA):
Sport coaches who require young athletes to participate in one sport for extended periods of time are actually shooting themselves in the foot with respect to future ability. To learn complex skills associated with baseball, for instance, a young athlete will be restricted to what they have been exposed to and can neurally call upon in terms of practical athletic intelligence. A young athlete who has been exposed to baseball only, likely will lack the athletic dexterity necessary to perform advanced skills in that sport.