The truth of the matter is, that my kid - and your kid - have too much in common with Sandlot's Scotty Smalls.
But there's plenty of hope still for your young
Ok, first things first:
if your son doesn't know what "Smores" are or who Babe Ruth is....
Go handle that right now.
Ok good. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's just get real about the generation we're raising:
More than at any point in human history, kids today are inactive, weak, entitled and dare I say....
We've been heading in this direction for a while now.
You see, I "feel" like I was a super active kid.
I grew up in the country playing sports and helping my dad on the weekend building fence, painting....always fixing something.
But if you were to ask him, he'd say I spent my most of childhood playing Super Tecmo Bowl.
[Note: He's not exactly wrong about this]
And to take it a step further, my Dad and uncle grew up on a chicken farm and worked about 3 full hours EVERY DAY after school...
...and yet my grandfather constantly referred to them as a couple of "house cats" .
(Which I totally stole BTW. I enjoy calling my kids House Cats. So funny).
Now, here's what is important to remember about today's generation:
This isn't their fault!
THEY aren't the ones ordering the participation trophies.
It's not their fault they have too many Christmas gifts.
And it's not their fault that life is just pretty darn easy these days.
No wood to chop.
No cows to feed.
No fields to plow.
Life is evolving...
and this is a good thing.
But there's a sacrifice that is being made by having made so much progress over the last 20-50 years...
...and the physical strength and health of our kids is at the top of the list.
Have you noticed the DRAMATIC increase in injuries, particularly arm injuries in young players over the last 10+ years?
....I've got a theory
[Warning: HOT TAKE coming at 'cha! There are a number of factors involved and I don't pretend to have solved the problem, but I've read the studies and done some homework, so....just hear me out]
See, our training methods are getting SO good for our HS and college baseball players.
Particularly with creating velocity for pitchers.
When I played in the minors in the mid 2000's I only faced a couple of guys throwing 98+....and only a few others who were hitting 95 regularly.
I'm telling you, it was rare.
Now, it seems like every pitcher that comes out of the pen is pumping 97 like it's nothing.
So, here's the problem:
Our new understandings about highly dynamic movements have a player's body is under more stress than ever before...
...and when you combine that with the fact that our youth in America are WEAKER than they've ever been, you've got a recipe for disaster.
Kids today spend 90% of their night and day in the seated/laying position with no muscles engaged....
...and then they come out to baseball practice and all of those same muscles are SUPER-DUPER ENGAGED during short bursts (throwing/hitting)...
and the body just can't handle it.
Look at the Latin countries.
The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have the combined population of the state of Pennsylvania....
...and yet make up almost 35% of our big leaguers.
Don't let anyone fool you - we Americans are being beaten like a drum when it comes to baseball development.
And so that begs the question:
What are they doing different over there?
Why aren't their kids getting injured at the same crazy rate that we are?
Popular answer: "Parents are pushing their kids too hard in America! Kids today are playing too much baseball!"
Most 10 year olds in the DR have put in more hours of ball than the average American HS kid today.
So that ain't it.
Here's my take:
The active lifestyle of the youth in Latin countries has conditioned and strengthened their bodies to excel at the game of baseball. Inversely, our "lazy" culture has created a generation of children who are too weak to excel - or even survive - the physical demands of the game.
Do you see the massive disadvantage American kids are facing?
It's such an advantage to be strong.
We saw it perfectly illustrated in The Sandlot - Smalls vs Benny:
....now contrast that with The Man himself:
If Smalls were a kid today, he'd totally be on a tablet right now.
...and doing a Fortnite dance when in the OF.
To me the bigger question is this:
If Benny were a real kid today, would he *really* be out playing ball?
Maybe he'd socialize with his friends remotely from home.
Or get his baseball fix playing The Show on his PS4.
Or just watch Dude Perfect on his iPad
(which I can't pretend to hate on - LOVE those guys).
Maybe he'd be out playing ball, I don't know.
But what I know for sure is that there are TONS of players out there today who really do love the game of baseball....
...they just don't realize that the habits that society has placed on them - the Smalls habits - are crushing their chances at reaching their goals.
Remember when I told you there was good news?
Well here it is:
We can fix this.
I can't stand the folks who just say "either you've got it or you don't" when it comes to players doing well at baseball.
...or anything for that matter.
Such a cop out.
But what I think WE ALL can agree on is that strength can be measured.
Strength can be improved.
According to performance coach Christian Ballard, there's a VERY crucial window between ages 7-14:
"Between ages 7-14 kids are at a heightened state of movement learning - called 'neuroplasticity'. The ability to learn and master new movements is at an all time high during this period, and any efforts to learn new movements outside of this window will be increasingly difficult."
So to translate: exposing your kids to as many strength and mobility movements at a young age will dramatically improve their athleticism.
One great way to accomplish this is by exposing kids to new sports (Christian recommends Judo/Karate or Gymnastics as his top two athlete-makers).
I can hear some parents right now:
I'VE SAID IT ALL ALONG! KIDS ARE PLAYING TOO MUCH BASEBALL. THEY NEED TO TAKE THE FALL OFF AND PLAY MULTIPLE SPORTS!! STUPID PARENTS THESE DAYS!
Well, slow your roll for a second.
Taking a season off isn't a luxury many parents have.
Sure, it's a free country and they can take a season off if they want to....but what happens then?
The team your kid is on - let's say they carry 11 players.
They're now down to 10 since this kid is going to try football or give Karate a go.
So what will the coach do?
Add a new player of course!
And when little Smalls decides to come back for the fall....the coach is faced with a problem.
12 kids. 11 spots.....somebody gotta go!!
Losing their roster spot is definitely a risk.
Now, if you're playing ball in the spring and also in the fall,
...working on your son's strength and mobility will give him a huge competitive advantage in the short and long term.
Because we only get one shot at this parenting thing.
Only one shot to give our kid the best chance to succeed.
And they're not going to get the needed strength work at school
(My kids are down to 2-3 days of PE a week).
Dr. Robert Anthony, author of the best seller Beyond Positive Thinking says:
"There are many serious and self destructive forms of behavior, but I would have to say that blind obedience tops the list."
And if we allow our kids to blindly follow the path our society has set for them...
...we're going to continue to see injuries increase and kids play well below what they're capable of.
I believe that our kids MUST be challenged more physically.
So I reached out to Christian about what we can do to be a part of this solution.
How to help kids be stronger, faster, more mobile...
...less injury prone.
Kids who really do WANT to be something on the baseball field.
Like, what kind of training is appropriate, what is not.
Christian does a ton of in-season and off-season work with local baseball players
Christian is CRAZY busy (like, bro can you return my text?) with athletes from all walks of sport flying in to train with him...but he see's the problem first hand on a daily basis and I was able to convince him to put something awesome together for us.
(not to mention Olympic level athletes in other sports also)
...and he agreed to share his program that is IDEAL for young athletes
It's a 9 week program that's guaranteed to strengthen your son in the areas he's really going to need in order to be his best self and avoid injury down the road.
Imagine your son, 9 weeks from now (early part of February) and for him to be SUBSTANTIALLY stronger than he is now.
Just imagine how much that could do for his performance on the field?
Imagine what it'd be like for him to be the "Benny" on his team.
In just 15 mins a day, a few days a week your son could get proper rest and recuperation from this long baseball season, AND set himself up to have his best spring yet.
I know that finding something online can be a little questionable, so I want to take away ALL of your risk in order for you to give your son/daughter an opportunity to reach their potential. If for whatever reason (or no reason!) you're not totally thrilled with the program, just say the word and we'll get you your money back. No harm, no foul. We're here to help and want you to know that you can trust us.
And if funds are tight and you're not interested in the offer right now, I don't want you to leave empty handed here...so here's a free tip:
Climb, Carry, Crawl, Squat.
That's what your kid needs to be doing.
These are the movements that will have the greatest impact.
And if you're ready to jump on board and get better with us, with an expert plan, with structure and motivation...
...then I'd invite you to take advantage of this offer and click the button above.
As always, praying for your success and growth. Lets get it :)