Mandy Mitchell

Before the story airs: Overuse a risk in youth sports

Posted July 22, 2014
Updated July 23, 2014

Nash County youth baseball players get ready to accompany the Carolina Mudcats onto the field for the starting lineups of the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats split with the Potomac Nationals.

— "Practice makes perfect."

That's something we have all been hearing since we were young, but it turns out too much practice may be harmful for our kids.

I have spent the last month talking to medical professionals and other sports experts about what doctors are calling "overuse" injuries in sports.

"I spend a lot of time doing counseling in my clinic," said Duke orthopedic surgeon Grant Garrigues. "This is really a cultural, societal, life impact and they have to think about (it). I know it's important that you get this college scholarship, but let's think about your career. Are you going to be able to keep doing that if you keep going at this pace?"

This story, which airs Wednesday, is especially important for young pitchers who stand the greatest risk of a serious injury that could derail a career before the athlete even gets to high school.

I learned so much about how this problem is growing in our young people, and I am truly hoping this story can help families keep kids healthy as they try to achieve their dreams.

4 Comments

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  • vt94hokies Jul 23, 2014

    Great presentation Mandy. I really hope that loads of parents and our youth were able to watch this one. Wishing that some sort of documentary could be developed.

  • 903 Born To Be Hateddddddddddddd Jul 23, 2014

    My daughter plays competitive soccer and I see it all the time. Kids that don't get enough playing time at club A for 9-10 months so they also play on a lower classification team at club B where they can start at striker and their middle or high school team for 3 months...

    That's 5 practices a week for their school, and 2 practices for each club team along with at least 1 game per week for each of 3 teams. You're looking at around 15 hours of practice and 3-4 hours of games not including time spent going to and from practices and games....

  • Jeanne Gunn Jul 22, 2014
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    My thoughts exactly, 'Nice. I've often wondered about the potential harm being done to young bodies going through growth spurts, et al. by playing sports at a competitive level at such a young age.

  • uBnice Jul 22, 2014

    I am looking forward to the story. Thank you in advance.

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