George Hale: When Do Kids Need a Break?

Source: MGN
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IT'S THE TIME BOTH KIDS AND ADULTS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.
SCHOOL IS OUT, WARM WEATHER IS HERE AND IT'S VACATION SEASON.
THE TIME FOR SPORTS GAMES AND CAMPS.
IT'S ALSO THE TIME FOR SOME TO BE VISITING THEIR ORTHOPEDIC DOCTOR.
HERE'S A WORD THAT WE HEAR MORE AND MORE THESE DAYS…..OVERUSE.
THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY THE EMERGENCY ROOMS AND DOCTORS OFFICES
ARE SO BUSY WITH YOUNG PEOPLE.
IT'S A BY- PRODUCT OF KIDS PLAYING SPORTS YEAR ROUND, WITH FEW BREAKS,
INCLUDING TRAVEL TEAMS AND TOURNAMENTS.
KIDS BEING PUSHED BEYOND THEIR LIMITS BECAUSE SOME, BUT NOT ALL, PARENTS
THINK A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP IS IN THE FUTURE.
THE CORE REASON IS THAT MANY KIDS ARE NOW SPECIALIZING
IN JUST ONE SPORT AND DOING IT A MUCH YOUNGER AGE THAN PAST YEARS.
IN THE NOT SO DISTANT PAST YOUNG ATHLETES PLAYED BASKETBALL IN THE WINTER,
BASEBALL IN THE SPRING AND SOME OTHER SPORT IN THE FALL.
KIDS WENT ON VACATION AND TOOK BREAKS ETC.
NOW MORE AND MORE KIDS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED TO STICK TO ONE THING.
I READ AN ARTICLE THIS WEEK THAT REALLY OPENED MY EYES TO THE PROBLEM OF
OVERUSE.
TOMMY JOHN SURGERY IS A PROCEEDURE WHERE A SURGEON DOES A GRAFT
TO REPAIR AN INJURED ELBOW. IT WAS NAMED AFTER A PROFESSIONAL
BASEBALL PITCHER WHO HAD THE OPERATION IN THE 70'S
NOW, THAT SAME TOMMY JOHN SURGERY IS BEING PERFORMED 60 PERCENT OF THE
TIME ON PLAYERS WHO ARE HIGH SCHOOL AGE.
THIS WAS UNHEARD OF A FEW YEARS AGO.
SCHOOLS HAVE BEGUN TO FIGHT THE TREND BY INSTITUTING PITCH COUNTS WHICH MAKES
COMMON SENSE.
YOUNG ARMS AREN'T MADE TO THROW 120 PITCHES IN A GAME.
EVEN COLLEGE AND PRO BALL MANAGERS START THINKING OF GOING TO THE PEN AFTER
100 PITCHES. WHICH OF COURSE DOESN'T EVEN BEGIN TO COUNT WARMUP AND SIDE
THROWING.
I'M USING BASEBALL AS AN EXAMPLE BUT THE PROBLEM EXTENDS TO BOTH BOYS AND
GIRLS IN A VARIETY OF SPORTS
A STUDY OF PLAYERS, 8-16 YEARS OLD REVEALED THAT OVERUSE INJURIES WERE HIGH IN
ALL SPORTS. IT WAS 63% IN SWIMMING, 33 % PERCENT IN TENNIS AND 15 % IN SOCCER.
THERE ARE OTHER STUDIES SHOWING SIMILAR RESULTS INCLUDING 33% IN GYMNASTS AND
68% FOR RUNNERS.
EVEN HIGHLY PAID PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES TAKE TIME OFF BETWEEN SEASONS TO LET
THEIR BODIES HEAL AND ADJUST.
MANY HAVE STEPPED UP TO SAY THAT PLAYING YEAR ROUND AND ONLY ONE SPORT MAKES
NO SENSE AT ALL.
YEARS AGO IT WASN'T COMMON TO HEAR ABOUT YOUNG PLAYERS WITH ACL AND MCL
SURGERY ON A REGULAR BASIS.
TODAY IT'S COMMON PLACE AND INCLUDES GIRLS AS WELL AS BOYS.
THE WHOLE IDEA OF YOUNG PEOPLE PARTICIPATING IN SPORTS IS TO KEEP THEM
HEALTHY AND GIVE THEM AN ACTIVITY TO KEEP BUSY.
NOW IT'S COMMON TO NOT ONLY SEE PLAYERS WITH A FIRST INJURY BUT A
REPEAT OF THE SAME INJURY A FEW SEASONS LATER.
MUCH OF THIS CAN BE PLACED ON SIMPLY ASKING THE BODY TO DO TOO MUCH AT
A YOUNGER AGE THAN SHOULD EVER HAPPEN.
PARENTS NEED TO INSIST THAT THEIR KIDS TAPER ACTIVITY FOR NEEDED PHYSICAL AND
MENTAL BREAKS.
THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED IS THAT IN THE END THE RESULT WILL BE A HEALTY LIFE
AND A LOVE OF EXERCISE AND SPORTS.
ONLY A FEW, VERY FEW, WILL MAKE THE JUMP TO STARDOM AS PROFESSIONAL
ATHLETES.
THREE PERCENT OF MALE AND FEMALE HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS GO ON TO PLAY IN
COLLEGE AND LESS THAN ONE PERCENT BECOME PROS
THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTs