Former Colorado Rockies Pitcher Jason Hirsh, radio personality Andy Lindahl on youth baseball coaching, sport specialization

A coach speaks with a boy as he practices baseball skills at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2018. - On a searing hot summer's day in Washington, a group of children are playing baseball in a pristine park that stands at odds with its surroundings in the city's rough-and-tumble southeast.Parents and grandparents shout encouragement from the stands as they chow down on hot dogs, some seeking shelter under the shade of a blue tent. This quintessential scene is taking place in little leagues across the United States -- and would be unremarkable if it weren't for the stark color divide in the stands: one section is entirely white and the other all black, reflected in the players on the field.Currently batting are an African American youth team of 12-year-olds representing the Mamie Johnson league of southeast DC. (Photo by Issam AHMED / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSAM AHMED/AFP via Getty Images)
A coach speaks with a boy as he practices baseball skills at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, DC, on May 7, 2018. - On a searing hot summer's day in Washington, a group of children are playing baseball in a pristine park that stands at odds with its surroundings in the city's rough-and-tumble southeast.Parents and grandparents shout encouragement from the stands as they chow down on hot dogs, some seeking shelter under the shade of a blue tent. This quintessential scene is taking place in little leagues across the United States -- and would be unremarkable if it weren't for the stark color divide in the stands: one section is entirely white and the other all black, reflected in the players on the field.Currently batting are an African American youth team of 12-year-olds representing the Mamie Johnson league of southeast DC. (Photo by Issam AHMED / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSAM AHMED/AFP via Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES – APRIL 11: Pitcher Jason Hirsh #48 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 11, 2007 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES – APRIL 11: Pitcher Jason Hirsh #48 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 11, 2007 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

We recently talked to a former Colorado Rockies pitcher and a local radio sports personality on their thoughts on what happens when coaches in youth sports are incentivized with potentially millions of dollars to see if coaches’ priorities are shift.

I still fondly remember the athletic days of my youth. Baseball in the spring/summer, football in the fall, basketball in the winter. Sometimes, I wonder if I was part of the last generation to actually play multiple sports throughout my childhood. So, I again decided to reach out to former Colorado Rockies pitcher Jason Hirsh and radio host and former lacrosse player Andy Lindahl to have a conversation about specialization in sports.

Both confirmed they did not know exactly where it started, but they too have noticed through their unique perspectives as coaches and mentors within their respective sports. For Jason, it is mainly baseball and for Andy, it is mainly lacrosse.

When I attacked this topic, I again figured to find overbearing parents to be the biggest culprit, but as you will see, this does not seem to be the case. After speaking to both Jason and Andy, then doing my own research I came up with a whole new perpetrator, hiding in plain sight. When I was growing up, I can distinctly remember my coaches pushing us to play other sports during the offseason of each sport, touting it as a great way to stay in shape.

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