Taking A Rest While You Can

Taking a rest while you can

We hear about injuries from overuse all the time in sports. Nobody seems to really know the exact cause, despite various opinions. Some say it is poor conditioning, while others blame coaching staffs for placing too much emphasis on year-round weight lifting and conditioning.
Well, here’s my opinion from firsthand experience.

 
Our travel baseball team recently completed a summer tournament. We played five games over three days and could have played seven had we kept winning.

 
It wasn’t the number of games that was the issue. Instead it was the other non-tournament activities that the players participated in before and after the games that caused me alarm.

 
We had one player who, in addition to playing two baseball games over the weekend and one on Monday with our team, played in a basketball tournament Friday and then had basketball practice Monday afternoon.

 
We had three other players who played our five baseball games squeezed in between other practices for other sports.

 
And we had a fifth who, had we made it to the championship game Monday night, would have driven 90 minutes home in the late morning for an unofficial high school practice that afternoon and then driven back to play with us the same evening.

 
So where is the blame to be placed?

 
Some would say the parents. And I agree to some extent. At some point, parents have to say enough is enough no matter what the coaches allow. But these parents are only doing what other parents are doing. They fear that if their child isn’t on multiple teams their skills will diminish in that sport during the offseason.

 
Are the coaches to blame?

 
If they had a team rule that their players could only play on that one team during the season the players would have no choice but to follow the rules. It would make the decision easier for the parents, because it would be made for them. Many coaches do have rules like this, but some also fear losing good players to other teams and leagues who do allow players to play on multiple teams.

 

 

How about the players?

 

I’ve seen situations where players have begged off teams. But unfortunately it’s already after the fees have been paid, uniforms purchased, and in some cases, hotels booked. In some ways I can’t blame the parents at that point for insisting their child sticks it out until the end of the season.

 

But a lesson should be learned in this instance: That maybe next year even when the player is excited to play on a second or third team at the beginning of a season, the parent needs to step in and prevent it.

 

It might not be a popular decision at the time, but most likely halfway through whatever season the child is playing in, he or she will be glad it was made.

 

For parents, yes, it is money saved. But more importantly, he potential for burnout is possibly prevented.

 

Jon Buzby’s columns appear in newspapers and magazines around the country as well as numerous websites. Email your comments JonBuzby@hotmail.com.

 

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