Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thank You Dr. Andrews

Dr. James Andrews released a position paper on the sudden rise of Tommy John surgery.
He boiled it down to one thing. Over use of the pitching arm when these professionals were adolescent amateurs.
He said that these kids need rest, proper nutrition and hydration. He stressed rest the most.
But as long as money is involved, overbearing Little League dads and coaches will work these poor kids to a future Tommy John surgery, all because of ego.
Dad wants to brag and boast, "My kid is the best pitcher around." Dad sees dollar signs in his eyes.
Coach thinks, "I'm coaching the best pitcher around. He's making me look good. I can get a better job through him!"
Meanwhile, they are overlooking the childs future or the needs of the child. It's all about self gratification through the child.
Money has changed the climate of sports the last twenty, twent five years. When I was a kid, you just played. You played other sports. You were allowed to be a kid.
Now these kids are subjected to year round travel ball, school ball, pitching camps, private coaching sessions with a pitching coach.
Where is the proper rest time in all this? I think it leads to burnout.
You can only throw and pitch so much.
A selected few get drafted. Very few get to the big leagues. It's cutthroat and competitive to make it. You have to stand out and make yourself stand out. How? Light up the radar gun. Throw a very sharp curveball.
Dr. Andrews paper mentions one shouldn't throw to light up the radar gun. Be crafty and selective of your pitches. Be a pitcher, not a thrower.
Yes we all get excited when a pitcher blows a 100 mph fastball to strike someone out. Remember Barry Zito's nasty curveball? Throw too many fastballs and curveballs and  you're gonna be on the operating table very soon.
I hope Little League dads and coaches will take the time to read the paper. It reminds me of something I read years ago. An expert orthopedic surgeon was trying to tell some overbearing parents about how to prevent their son from having to go through surgery again. He mentioned he had written books and paper about the prevention of surgery. The parents said, "We don't care about that. We're not here to talk about books. How soon can you get our son back to the pitchers mound?"
The doctor told the interviewer that most parents just don't get it.

No comments:

Post a Comment