Take time off and don’t specialize in one sport

“Don’t treat 6- and 7-year-old kids like they’re professional athletes,” Dr. James Andrews told an audience of about 100 at Florida Hospital Orlando. “They’re not ready for that level of high-intensity training.”

Most important, Andrews said overworking a youth’s developing body by having him or her play a single sport year-round can create problems. He advocated against allowing them to play in multiple leagues at once.

“They should have at least two months off, preferably 3-4 months of each year and to not be throwing a baseball or overhead sport so their body has time to recuperate,” Andrews said.

Besides the issues with injuries, another risk factor is prevalent in youth sports, Andrews said. He said 60 percent to 70 percent of children drop out of sports by the age of 13 because of parental, peer or coaching pressure.

 Source: Orlando Sentinel

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