#tbt My parents did it right. As a kid growing up, sports were fun. They were times to make new friends, move around, learn new rules, and fail a number of times. Whenever I got home from a game the discussion was never who won, why’d you lose, did you play, your coach is awful...rather did you have fun? And why not? All of my coaches were dads volunteering their time, not professionals. Even my own wouldn’t work with me in excess. I threw or shots baskets with my mom just as much growing up. I asked for a batting tee so I could hit in the garage. My parents found an oversized street cone. It was up to my chest. I hit off that every night not because I was told to...rather I wanted to. I was awful growing up at the skills of sports...AS I SHOULD’VE BEEN. I was still learning my body. Growing. Coordinating movements. I missed shots, fouled out, double dribbled, struck out, tripped on my stirrups, and loved every second of it...because nobody stressed on the skills and competition. I struck out 16 times in a row one season my freshman year. And never once was the word “anxiety, stress, depression” suggested to me. I didn’t specialize in one sport until my senior year of high school. I never had any college offers until my senior year of high school. I also didn’t suffer major injuries until college when I incurred a doctor induced joint infection from MRI dye injected into me which only showed I had a tired shoulder. Must’ve been tired from a Beast Light and Waffle House diet:) I was the Gatorade Player of the Year. Received a scholarship to play D1. Got invited to the Cape Cod League. Played two years of a level of baseball where I received a paycheck to PLAY! Had my childhood been different I might’ve been a statistic. 57% of Tommy John Surgeries in 15-19 year olds. Concussions up 500%. ACL Surgeries Up 60% in 6-18 year olds. Mental health diagnoses from youth sports. We are breaking rules of development. And all for the business of youth sports, 15$ billion dollars a year and growing just to keep up with the Joneses. It’s time to Rethink, Replenish, Rebuild, and Recover our youth back to vibrant, independently driven, strong, grounded human athletes.