Do your kids participate in youth sports? How many sports are they playing? Earlier today, I had a conversation with a patient about her son's baseball team. Her son is 12 years old, and because of the commitment that he made to his travel baseball team, he has NO time to participate in other sports. She said that his coach wants him to focus on baseball (and only baseball) year-round. We had a little discussion about the flaws in that logic. 

Last month, the Titleist Performance Institute published a blog article focused on Jordan Spieth and how his parents did not allow him to focus on golf at a young age. According to the article, Jordan knew at age 12 that he wanted to spend his time and energy on becoming the best golfer that he could become, but his parents said no. Jordan played football, basketball, and baseball, in addition to his true love golf. It seems to have worked out pretty well for him though. He did just win the last 2 Majors and has a chance at winning the Grand Slam of golf this year... He credits his development as a golfer to the increased athleticism that he developed from being a well rounded athlete.

Here are a couple of images that I thought were very interesting

This graph represents the number of sports that Olympic Athletes participated in at different ages in their lives.
And this one...

As I sat down to write this I checked my Facebook feed only to stumble across a great interview with Dr. James Andrews, the world renowned orthopedic surgeon to professional athletes everywhere. He noted that he has seen a significant increase in the number of injuries that kids are coming to him with. He attributes the rise in these injuries to two things, Specialization and Professionalism. Dr. Andrews said that early specialization tends to lead to an increase in the overuse injuries sustained by young athletes. The term professionalization refers to treating these children like professionals by focusing all of their time and attention on improving in their sport of choice. I guess I have another article to forward on the Mom that I spoke to this morning!
The take home message here is:
Would you like your child to develop more athleticism?
Would like your child to avoid significant overuse injuries?
Get them to play more than one sport!

 Movement is my Medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


Contact Me