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Surgeon Andrews Says Youth Injuries On The Rise

youth-football-as-prosIs this an SEC story?  No, it isn’t.

So what’s it doing on an SEC site?  Well, posting it here might help bring additional attention to the words of Dr. James Andrews, the most well-known sports surgeon in America.  And here are just a few of the words he recently shared with The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“I started seeing a sharp increase in youth sports injuries, particularly baseball, beginning around 2000.  I started tracking and researching, and what we’ve seen is a five- to seven-fold increase in injury rates in youth sports across the board.  I’m trying to help these kids, given the epidemic of injuries that we’re seeing.  That’s sort of my mission: to keep them on the playing field and out of the operating room…

I want parents and coaches to realize the implications of putting a 12- or 13-year-old through the type of athletic work done by a 25-year-old.”

 

Andrews suggests young kids get anywhere from two to four months off from their sport per year.  “Give them time off to recover.  Please.  Give them time to recover.”

With the cost of college tuition going up, pro salaries on the rise, and the amount of media attention given to youth sports these days, many a family has decided that Junior should be dedicated to his sport year-round at a very young age.  But from a world-famous surgeon like Andrews to a hall-of-fame athlete like Cal Ripken, the list of people who say that is 100% the wrong thing to do is growing.

 


4 comments
KdotWong5
KdotWong5

@AKCatCP youth sports are so competitive now and so many kids want to play college sports, they over train which causes increase in injury

RebeccaPelke
RebeccaPelke

@AKCatCP Youth sports are becoming more intense, causing kids to practice harder & longer in a year. Youth sports should be about having fun

UFL1138
UFL1138

I'm not an athlete so I'm just making this up as I type, but I would think it would be very good for the development of a player to put in more study time for the sport.  These months that they're supposed to be taking off could be full of watching tape, studying fundamentals, learning playbooks, etc.  All of that will translate to [sport] IQ which will maybe help more than a few more months of practice and competition.  The article seems to imply there's a law of diminishing returns after a certain number of months a year on the field. 

Roggespierre
Roggespierre

John - thank you for posting this.  I would have missed it otherwise.  As the father of a 9-year old aspiring baseball player that just made his community's travel team, I will be sure to dial back the activities in the off season.  The temptation to keep up with the Joneses can be powerful.  Sometimes it's important to step back and remember that kids should be in it for fun.



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