Phit for a Queen: A Female Athlete Podcast

Specialization is THE MOST Detrimental Thing for the Young Athlete with Dr. Tommy John

February 1, 2019

  As the son of renowned Major League Baseball pitcher Tommy John who played in the Major Leagues for 26 seasons and was the first person to come back in 1974 from the revolutionary surgery named the Tommy John Surgery, it is not surprising that Dr. Tommy developed a passion for proper healing and physical function as he witnessed firsthand the outcomes of injury, innovation, and principled healing. Dr. John shares with us the problems he is seeing, and research is showing when youth specialize too early in sport, and ways we can prevent and protect our young athletes!

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  • Tommy John played professional baseball but he didn’t begin specializing in that sport until the age of 17. His parents, even though his dad was a professional baseball player encouraged playing many different sports growing up, or just playing in general. As children, we are not SUPPOSED to be good at a particular sport. We need to try a variety of things and have fun with it.
  • Tommy is adamant that children shouldn't specialize too early in one sport. He defines specialization as COMPETING in one sport more than 8 months at of the year and because of research specialization in a sport is the single greatest risk factor of youth injury.
  • Research is also saying that a multi-sport background whether organized or not, we get better grades in school, we choose better foods for breakfast, we get better sleep, better self-efficacy, less depression. We are now prepared to be healthier and happier adults.
  • Consequences that we are seeing in our youth due to too early of specialization: burnout, not fun anymore which leads to increase in injuries such as concussions, Tommy John surgeries, meniscus, stress factors, and spine. Injuries that we should be seeing later on in life. Kids are being medicated for mental health conditions because of anxiety and depression because they are not able to perform in their sport for their age!! The pressure is so huge.
  • What can we do to prevent some of these injuries from occurring:
    • Rethink- what we are doing is not ideal
    • Food first- nourishment
    • Childhood and Freeplay is training
    • Explore other sports- Even if you Suck!
    • Recovery- SLEEP is key

So You Know He’s Legit:

With Master Degrees in Health and Exercise Science from Furman University, Dr. Tommy John brings over 17 years of health experience to the table. At the completion of his studies, Dr. Tommy played professional baseball for three years with teams such as the Schaumburg Flyers, Tyler Roughnecks and the LA Dodgers. After his career was abruptly ended from a rare infection in his throwing shoulder, Dr. Tommy developed his own baseball performance company providing over 11,000 baseball training sessions for baseball enthusiasts from ages six to thirty. Additionally, he expanded his practice of personal training, sports performance training, and rehabilitation of all types of soft tissue injuries.

Dr. Tommy was drawn to chiropractic because he realized there was a higher element missing from the healing, performance process and proper function of the human body in the innate intelligence and the nervous system: brain, brainstem, and spinal cord. That paramount observation led him to obtain his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from Life University, (a 4-year program), in Marietta, Georgia, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

As the son of renowned Major League Baseball pitcher Tommy John who played in the Major Leagues for 26 seasons and was the first person to come back in 1974 from the revolutionary surgery named the Tommy John Surgery, it is not surprising that Dr. Tommy developed a passion for proper healing and physical function as he witnessed firsthand the outcomes of injury, innovation, and principled healing.

Dr. Tommy John also has a book just released in June 2018(Da Capo) called Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance: A Sports Parent’s Survival Guide, which is a unique program: a diet, lifestyle, and movement plan (Rethink. Rebuild. Replenish. Recover) for injury and performance-proofing young athletes in every sport.

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How to Connect with Dr. Tommy John and to Get His Book:

Dr. Tommy John Performance and Healing Center

https://www.drtommyjohn.com/

Twitter: @DrTommyJohnDC

Facebook: @Tommy.John.ARP.Training.Wellness