Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sunday morning at the Oakland Coliseum

Nice weekend in the Bay Area, the highlight of which was serving on a "youth sports sanity" panel with A's pitcher Dallas Braden and trainer Steve Sayles at the Oakland Coliseum. The audience was about 500 youth league coaches, parents and kids.

I made a few remarks about Until It Hurts, explaining how the project got started and how not long into it, my son Ben's elbow injury cast things in a different light. Steve and Dallas then spoke about the importance of playing different sports, keeping expectations for our kids reasonable, and the chances of your kid ending up in a big league uniform (in a word, remote).

The QandA session was interesting.

Sayles got several questions about weight training for kids. A former college baseball player, he pointed out that there isn't much upside to a kid lifting weights before puberty. So put the bar bells away until 14 or 15, earliest.

As expected, Braden was the crowd favorite and got most of the attention. What team was his favorite growing up in nearby Stockton? (The Giants). What are his memories of the 1989 Earthquake World Series? (The TV tuned to the series, a lamp shaking violently behind the tube, and his mother accusing him of playing a practical joke). Does he ice after his pitching starts? (No. Stretches, though).

A nice mom wearing a baseball cap asked me a question. She wanted to know if I ever got hate mail. (Not as often as you'd think).

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