Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Archive for April 15th, 2009

Jamie Moyer: crazy sports parent

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In the same Sports Illustrated featuring an excerpt of Mark Hyman’s youth-sports-are-maiming-our-children tome “Until It Hurts” and a profile of an ESPN high school national championship won by Findlay Prep, which is not in reality a high school, comes a profile of Jamie Moyer, an athlete who seems to be a living argument against overemphasizing your youth athlete  in a single sport as a means of getting to the majors.

Moyer, a Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, is best known for being old and good, winning 213 of his 247 games after age 30 (he’s 46) with a fastball your kid could outrun. The story, by Michael Bamberger, notes Moyer was passionate about baseball early, but that he spent his high school sporting life playing “golf in the fall, basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. … In the summer he’d work and play American Legion baseball and pickup basketball and squeeze in nine holes at the public course in the fading light.”

A well-rounded sports childhood. Probably explains how well he can use his wits, and why he’s been able to pitch so long without hurting himself. Surely he would use that example for his own seven children to follow…

…oh wait.

[The Moyer family moved from Seattle] to Bradenton [Fla.] for Dillon, a 17-year-old shortstop. And for Hutton, a 15-year-old second baseman. The family moved to Bradenton to further the baseball educations of the two oldest boys. Dillon, a high school junior, and Hutton, a freshman, are enrolled in the baseball program at the IMG Academy. They are full-time students and full-time ballplayers. Dillon and Hutton will not be mowing bumpy municipal ball fields [as Jamie did] anytime soon, but they take ground balls all year long.

“I grew up blue-collar, my kids are growing up in a major league environment,” [Moyer] says. As baseball players I want Dillon and Hutton to have the best possible coaching. Access to experts in nutrition. Weight training. Good competition. Exposure. They’ve said they want to see how far they can get in baseball. I’m fortunate to have the means to help them.”

And with that, thousands of intense sports parents got instant justification for what they’re doing.