By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck
A Facebook post recently caught my attention. A former coach wrote: 'Kids are playing too much without rest. I think I've seen 12-13 year-olds play as many games in a season as pros and I don't understand why. Something has to change or the overuse injuries are going to continue.' As you can imagine the comments, some of which I have included below, were passionate and voluminous.
The first one got the ball rolling:
I did a research paper on this recently. Feel free to educate yourselves from medical professionals with expertise in youth sports overuse injuries. Kids as young as 8 are doing a year round single sport. It’s not good for your kid’s body: physically and mentally.
Agreed!!! And every coach in every sport try to make their sport year round. If you aren't at their conditioning and off season practices, "it won't be held against you" until it does get held against them! Year round sports has got them so burnt out by the time they are Seniors! A huge amount end up quitting!
As an athletic trainer—-this is 100% true!! More and more kids are having overuse injuries I have to rehab with all the time. More teenage boys are having to have Tommy John surgery—something that used to be rare in boys. According to sports research there is also an extremely high # of kids that drop out of their sport by the age of 12/13 due to being burnt out from playing nonstop at such a young age up to 13.
Maybe if travel ball wasn’t year round kids would take a rest and play another sport! They won’t shutdown if their teammates are practicing, they feel like they are getting behind. The adults control all of this….they offer tournaments and make schedules, they should also be the people that are smart enough to understand that baseball/softball should not be played year round. Protect the kids!
Travel ball for baseball, softball, soccer, basketball etc will never slow down. There is too much money to be made. It quit being about the kids and their development a long time ago. Directors making 6 figures, areas hosting these events make a good chunk of change etc. Its too much of a cash cow.
This issue is across all youth select sports. It’s awful to see how many high school girls are missing spring soccer seasons with torn a acl. Came across 8 players over three teams in last week. Bodies aren’t meant to do the same sport year round.
Not to mention sports are in the way of families being families! If parents think sports are going to help their kids get a possible scholarship, they need to understand it’s such a small percentage that they should just save their hard earned money for college!
Also. Kids can't just sign up and play. There are evaluations, legit tryouts and politics for kids just to play for their town. I understand AAU / All Star / Select teams SHOULD have Tryouts, etc. But making so stressful for a kid under 10 years old who just wants to play on Saturday mornings, it is not worth it
Oh my…. I’d rather my kid want to play a sport than sit on the couch & play video games & watch tv! My child plays over 100 games spring/summer… his pitch count is monitored closely! He listens to his body … he WANTS to do it! He even plays wiffle ball at home in his spare time…
My kid loves it too! It’s all his choice. When he tells me he is done, then he is done. It’s also more than just baseball. We do charity events as a team also. My older son got burned out and now loves golf. I leave it up to my kids. I don’t make them do anything they don’t want to do.
It’s because a lot of parents have FOMO. They think if little johnny doesn’t keep playing he will get passed up on at some point. Play 3 sports!! Multiple sports makes your son or daughter a better athlete.
I agree but I guarantee you his scouts are showing up to club showcase events to recruit. These guys don't go to high school baseball games anymore. Why bother when you can spend one weekend watching dozens of kids from different areas of the country. I'd respect this more if he committed to not be an enabler.