Dr. James Andrews wants youth athletes to play less
Noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews has practiced medicine for 40 years and is known for operating on some famous professional athletes like Drew Brees and Robert Griffin III.
However, Andrews is now seeing more young athletes – some as young as 12 years old – who have adult sports injuries. Andrews attributes this to a lack of time off and parents who push their children in hopes of having a superstar athlete.
Specialization and professionalism are leading young athletes to overtrain year-round, and parents and coaches are often to blame.
While most elite youth athletes play year-round, Andrews claims that children need a minimum of two months off from a sport each year, though to be safe, he recommends at least three to four months rest.
In order to change this trend, Andrews and the Sports-Medicine Society are educating parents and coaches on injury prevention techniques through the STOP program – Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention (in youth sports).