Highway to Health: Developing Lifelong Athletes via Athletic Training

April 26, 2023

Sports are an important element of growing up for many children all across the world. For some kids, sports are more than a hobby, which can mean taking it very seriously and training very hard. And sometimes parents and others worry their children are working a bit too hard or are going about their training the wrong way. So, what might be better ways to handle athletic training for children?

On this episode of Highway to Health, host David Kemp speaks with Blair Bundy, who is the Director of Player Health for the Milwaukee Brewers, about training young athletes and how to best keep them healthy. A trained physical therapist, Bundy’s job consists of overseeing the day-to-day health operations of 180 players, which includes athletic training and psychological health.

Since both Kemp and Bundy have experience in baseball, they know how athletic training has changed dramatically over the years. “It used to be you just had a batting cage, right? You had a batting cage you’d go to, you take your hacks, and you were good to go,” says Bundy. “But now it’s like, there’s batting lanes, and there’s fancy pitching machines, and there’s pitching coaches, hitting coaches, and there’s probably somewhere there who’s gonna tell you how to throw harder or swing harder or whatever else. So…there’s a shift in how we’re actually, like, approaching to talking to and training these kids.”

Main topics covered in this episode also include:

  1. Different training methods that are implemented in youth athletics.
  2. Teaching children early proper moving patterns.
  3. The importance of emphasizing fun and love for sports.

Bundy notes that current ways of training give the kids “wear and tear,” meaning “some kids survive and do really well with it, and some kids, I think, they kind of go through a meat grinder sometimes.” It is then in Bundy’s view that there are better ways of training children, keeping them engaged, and fostering a true love for the sport that they can carry with them into the future.

Blair Bundy got his Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M before becoming a Sports Physical Therapist for Physio and Houston Methodist. He has been with the Milwaukee Brewers, first as a Rehabilitation Coordinator, now as their Director of Player Health, for over five years.


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