Tuesday, August 5th 2014
Summer is coming to an end; and school sports and schedules loom. Far tougher play than summer sports.
Having lived through the sports challenges and commitments of a very athletic daughter, and a husband/father who graciously coached many of our children’s town sports, I know what lies ahead. So I was very taken by this recent NY Times op-ed piece by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. His perspective is noble, in my opinion.
In guiding parents year-round on summer and enrichment experiences to help their kids and teens develop, I hear all too often of the school year sports issues. Parents wanting their kids to have a healthy, yet instructive, summer break from regular sports schedules their children experience. And then there are those who seek out the best and competitive sports experiences to give their kids an edge to hopefully earn a better team position or move up to a higher team level.
What parents don’t realize is that traditional camps have the balance correct. In most cases, effective instruction, healthy and optional team competitions, and the exposure to a cross-training across a spectrum of sports at the same time. Think tri-athlete, but across a child’s choice of sports. Compared to hyper-focus on one sport per season, leading to burn-out and potential long term injuries.
I wish this could always be for kids and teens. Balance. Let’s try to borrow from camp directors their knowledge and give kids a break to develop age appropriately – and still have time for their study and recreation activities.