Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Archive for April 9th, 2009

“Until It Hurts” excerpt on

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cover-of-until-it-hurtsMark Hyman of Youth Sports Parents has a new book out called “Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession With Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids.” For example, youth sports turns children into future spree killers. Wait, that’s Mark Durm, not Mark Hyman. Anyway, an excerpt, dealing with overuse injuries, is on (Why overuse injuries occur is because parents want their kids someday to be featured on every other article on that site.)

I’ve got a copy reserved at my local Borders, and not just because Mark Hyman recently referred to this humble blog as “one of my fave youth sports blogs!!!!!!!!” OK, I added the exclamation points (or, excitment marks, as my son’s kindergarten is teaching him), but Hyman did say “fave.” I’ll have a review next week sometime.

Based on the excerpt, I’m encouraged. Mainly, because it looks like a well-reported and well-thought out piece of journalism, and not a guilt-ridden screed based on Hyman’s stomach churn about a pitching injury suffered by his son. Certainly the reason any of us who aren’t pervs or Clark Francis get interested in youth sports issues is through our own kids, and I suspect Hyman’s interest spiked when his own son got hurt. But the fault I find with most youth sports writing is that it’s too personal. That happens because of someone’s own bad experience as a kid, or come-to-Jesus moment as an adult with kids about the true nature of youth sports.

I look forward to reading the book. I’m curious if he ever talked to Mike Marshall, former major-league pitcher turned pitching guru. I emailed back and forth once with Marshall for a story I did for on the use of technology in trying to reduce pitching injuries. Let’s just say that while Marshall has a sharp, PhD-certified mind, his ego might be the healthiest thing about him. He certainly has no love lost for Glenn Fleisig, whom I also talked to for my story, and who is a subject of the Hyman excerpt at