In the movie “Grudge Match,” two aging boxers reunite in the ring for revenge, money and a taste of recognition. But Razor (Sly Stallone) and The Kid (Robert De Niro) are too worn down and burned out to do much more than deliver jokes with weak punch lines. And who can blame them? Even kids find that their ability and enthusiasm for a sport tank if they’re pushed too hard, for too long.
In fact, overuse injuries and burnout are epidemic — and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine is sounding an alarm. A new report says too many of the 60 million kids ages 6-18 who participate in organized athletics are getting physical injuries that could sideline them for the rest of their lives, as well as psychological bruises that can leave them turned off to any sport.
To protect your child:
Remember why kids play: for fun! These days, the pressure even on pre-teens to become “stars” or get a scholarship often is relentless.
Insist that days off are provided after several intense training sessions, alternate routines to avoid straining the same joints and muscles every day, and limit repetitive motions, such as pitching.
If your child says, “I need a break,” be supportive.
There are big rewards! Another study found that folks 70 and up who played high school sports were still exercising regularly 50 years after their last game and seeing their doctors less frequently than most folks their age!
So help your young athlete stay injury-free and enthusiastic, and you’ll be helping your child enjoy a longer and healthier life.