Katherine Hobson published an article in the Wall Street Journal (9/20/11) about “New Steps to Help Prevent Knee Injuries in Teen Sports.” The article is filled with stats, facts about growth and development for girls and boys, recommendations from the medical community and athlete experiences with ACL injuries. I think she did an excellent job of summarizing a very complex issue.
My favorite part of the article is the last paragraph, a quote from Holly Silvers, the director of research at the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation:
“The whole notion of sport-specificity at a very young age is extremely dangerous. You’re basically using the same muscles all year round. That’s why these (injury) numbers continue to increase.”
Every time I give a presentation, or one of my VP colleagues gives a presentation, parents raise this concern. Intellectually, they know sport-specificity increases risk for injury and burnout. But, they also believe “best parenting” means providing the best opportunities to their children. In the sporting arena, “best opportunities” translates into year round training in one sport, private coaches, specialized camps and the latest equipment.
I think what Ms Silvers and the folks at Varsity Parenting are asking parents is – how can we redefine “best parenting” when it comes to raising an athlete?
Would so appreciate your thoughts.