Bestselling author and baseball educator Paul Reddick recently launched the free “Baseball Dads Podcast” on the iTunes store. Developed to help educate parents of upcoming youth players, Reddick hopes to reduce and eliminate the injury, overuse, and over training epidemic rampant in the world of youth, club, and high school baseball.
Paul Reddick’s signature pitching program, the 90mph Club is utilized by thousands of parents, coaches, and pitchers around the world. As the Director of the Yogi Berra Museum Baseball Camp, a state USA Baseball Delegate, professional scout, and youth educator, Reddick has witnessed the impact of a broken American baseball education system first hand.
Over training and overuse injury rates in youth sport have increased significantly over the past decade. As coaches and parents push under-17 players into an increasingly competitive year-round club, travel team, and school environment injury rates are increasing.
Reddick: How to help parents reduce this alarming trend
Citing a 300% increase in Tommy John surgeries in the past 10 years, with over 50% of all surgeries performed on youth players under the age of 17, Reddick questions, “Are we asking too much from our kids too soon?”
Pointing to a growing number of inexperienced coaches more concerned with wins and losses than long term development, Reddick believes American baseball development programs are creating a culture of “part time kids and full time baseball players.”
Reddick’s primary focus is to help parents of young players better understand all aspects of youth baseball, from a young player’s perspective, the perspective of coaches at the school, club, and travel team level, and to give parents a free unbiased comparison tool to guarantee they are effectively managing and balancing the development of young players.
“The goal of the Baseball Dad’s Podcast is to help parents put the joy back in America’s pastime,” Reddick says, “I want to give fathers, mothers, parents of young players a place where they can hear what dads before them did right, what they did wrong, and how they could better support their kids as they grow and learn in this sport.”
Already a well-reviewed Podcast with over 40 5-star rating and Top-5 ranking within Apple iTunes after just four episodes, Reddick’s Baseball Dads Podcast is rapidly becoming a go-to source of information for parents looking to make sense of the confusing youth baseball landscape.
“Navigating the game is incredibly confusing for parents” Reddick says, “it’s also absolutely vital that parents of our youth players understand what’s happening within this system.”
Reddick believes, and frequently addresses during education events for parents, players, and coaches across the country, “that youth coaches don’t always have the best interests of our young players in mind.”
Inside the numbers
Statistics in minor and major league player demographics support Reddick’s claims. On opening day in 2015, over 26% of players on Major League Baseball rosters were born outside of the United States. This number has only increased since 1995 when the MLB began releasing annual player data.
“Every coach I speak to wonders what’s wrong with the American baseball system,” Reddick recently shared at a conference for parents and players, “We have one of the most comprehensive youth development programs in the World, if not the best, yet American players are losing ground at the higher levels.”
The answer may be what Reddick calls “youth coaching conflicts of interest.”
After founding Paul Reddick Baseball, Reddick shook up the youth baseball coaching world by sharing his inside knowledge of youth development programs with parents for the very first time. Reddick is one of the only coaches nationally willing to openly reveal the “true motives of private coaches and travel teams,” programs which are “often set up for pure profit rather than player development.”
Further citing the growing inexperience of the “parent coach” who volunteers to help youth leagues without the proper education, former pros and minor-league coaches with poor form but incredible talent, and coaches who care more about trophies on the wall than a player’s best interests, Reddick believes “We set many of our kids up for short term success but long term failure.”
Still, Reddick mentions “It’s not a parent’s fault for not knowing…it’s human nature to place our trust in our kids’ coaches.”
Reddick doesn’t suggest questioning or confronting coaches as a solution to the epidemic of overuse, over training, and injury plaguing youth baseball development programs. Instead, he advocates for parent education.
“My mission is always to give parents the best information possible, so they can help their son reach his goals as a kid first and a player second,” Reddick says.
The Baseball Dads Podcast
Featured on iTunes once each week, Baseball Dads connects parents through a call-in style radio program, interviewing fathers who have helped players navigate the game, discussing the mistakes parents, coaches, and players make, and devising solutions to the most common problems in sport.
Reddick’s connection with many of today’s most successful players creates a unique learning environment. Baseball Dads includes interviews with parents who have helped their sons succeed in the major and minor leagues as well as secure scholarships at NCAA Division I institutions.
Join Paul Reddick and parents across the nation every week for a new free episode of Baseball Dads and discover the most common mistakes parents of youth players make while taking helping your son navigate a path to success in life and baseball. For more info, visit BaseballDadsNewsletter.com