Burnout and Injury a Major Concern in Youth Sports

Young athletes, ages 10-14, are often putting in more time on their sport than professional athletes do.

Pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Ron J. Tucker, who's done a plethora of ACL knee surgeries on young athletes, says the paradigm has changed from kids growing up "playing" sports to becoming professionalized athletes.

Super-organized, adult-driven youth sports leagues and tournaments have replaced pick-up games, where kids organize the action by calling all their friends and telling them to meet in the park in 30 minutes to play a game.

Adults -- coaches, parents, league administrators, sport trainers, etc. -- pressure kids that show some talent for a sport, to show "commitment" by specializing in a single sport.

As a result, Tucker is seeing a lot more repetitive stress injuries in young athletes. These types of injuries were once quite rare in children.

The issue of coaches and parents obsessing about all-state teams, scholarships and pro contracts has become so commonplace that psychiatrists have dubbed the condition Achievement by Proxy Syndrome.

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