I saw a wonderful tweet during the World Series 2 weeks ago from former MLB and NFL superstar and maybe the best athlete ever, Bo Jackson. If you are young and didn’t see him play, do yourself a favor and leave this post now to watch YouTube highlights. He was an absolute star in two different professional leagues = WOW!
He said (SIC): “If you are not an Astro or Dodger, you should not be playing baseball right now.”
He was basically saying, see you next year. You should be resting. Big leaguers do not play all year around. They do not throw in November and December. They continue to work out and do active rest activities, but they feel refreshed, healthier, and mentally sharper in early February by taking this break.
All the best data we have, including from STOP Sports Injuries from Dr. Andrews in Alabama, supports 9 months maximum play per year in a given sport. Otherwise, we really risk overuse, burnout, and injury.
It is hard to convince athletes, parents, travel coaches, and teams that this is true. They think more is more. They don’t want anyone to “out train” them. Working hard is very important but there are more 13 year olds on the operating room table these days due to overuse and over training. Do not fall into this trap.
There needs to be limitations on play and practice for each sport per month and per year. You will be better at 9 months than 12 months of training!!! That is the take home point. Listen to Bo. He obviously played multiple sports. This encourages new movements, new friends, new skills, fresh out looks, and more desire.
Kash Eagleton, DPT, SCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Board Certified Sports Physical Therapy Specialist