Overtraining Youth Sports

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Overtraining in youth sports has become an epidemic that has cause a negative impact for many youth sports. While many people want their children to enjoy and take part in sports, some kids and parents have taken the involvement too far. Sometimes it is the kid trying to get ahead of their self, and other times it is the parents who are pushing their child too hard. Overtraining and burnout often results when a child begins to specialize in a single sport earlier than they should. While I believe that adults should encourage children to follow their dreams, they also need to be aware that part of being a great athlete is the offseason. Many kids are playing one sport year round, never taking a rest. This is one of the most harmful aspects to…show more content…
The other thing that they don't realize is that most athletes who make it further in their chosen sport are usually multi-sport athletes growing up. One of the biggest controversies revolving around youth sports is the spike in youth baseball players who are receiving ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) Surgery, more commonly known as Tommy John Surgery. Tommy John Surgery is typically seen in professional baseball pitchers, which is a surgery that is done to repair a ligament in the elbow. Pitchers are often the victims of this injury due to the amount of repetitive throwing. The graph below shows the spike in youth and high school athletes who have undergone UCL Surgery: The spike in UCL surgery cannot be pinpointed exactly, but it is believed that overtraining has a part in it, along with technological advances that make it possible to detect the injury sooner. Along with the overtraining aspect, some people believe that kids are learning to throw breaking balls at a younger age which could affect the elbow due to it not being fully developed. Another aspect to this surgery is that younger athletes see the professional baseball pitchers getting…show more content…
Careers are being ended before they have a chance to begin. The best prevention for young athletes is to encourage multiple sports. Multi-sport athletes have the highest chance to obtain enjoyment from the sports, which is what youth sports is supposed to be about; having fun. Not only is it important to encourage athletes to participate in more than one sport throughout the year, but make sure they are committed to only one team at a time. Just because they are doing different sports, doesn't mean they are safe from overtraining. It is just as harmful for a young athlete to play on two basketball teams, in two different leagues, which would require twice as many practices and games. This does just as much damage to the developing body. The bones in the bodies of children and adolescents cannot handle the stress that the bones of adults can. This again brings the point that even at the end of a season in adult athletics, a period of rest is needed to allow for recovery. The second major issue with overtraining in youth sports is from the parents. Parents have become increasingly hard on their children to succeed in sports. Simply watching

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