Whether you like it or not, concussions have taken over the sports injury landscape from youth sports all the way to the professional leagues. Of course, concussions are scary, harmful, and dangerous, but they often dominate the news as if it's the only type of injury worth monitoring. However, that frankly couldn't be further from the truth as more and more youth athletes are pushing themselves to return from injuries as soon as possible.
The Rome News-Tribune recently wrote about this trend, noting that there's a strong wave of extra sports injuries thanks to -- you guessed it -- parents. Elizabeth Fite, the article's author, writes that parents, who often find pride and purpose in their child's achievements, can rush them back before they're fully healed. And while they may not be physically damaging to the brain like a concussion, the mental wear and tear of continuous injury can weigh a young athlete down.
Remember, it's OK to sit out a game or a practice in order to heal your body and mind. Carlos Strong, the coach featured in Fite's article, does a very nice job of toeing his responsibilities as a leader, but also as a role model with the athlete's best intentions in mind, even if that sacrifices winning. Strong says:
“They have to pay attention to their bodies more, and parents have to listen to the kids when they tell them something hurts. I talk to kids about this all the time: Listen to your body. If something hurts, there’s a reason why. Your body is telling you something.”
Ultimately, these are the things that matter most in youth sports -- teaching our newest generation of athletes, but not being afraid to protect them either. Kudos to Fite and Strong for reminding us that all injuries are serious, not just the season-changing ones. Don't be the parent that pushes your child through an injury, they'll thank you later!
Rome New-Tribune -- Youth sports beneficial and fun, but injury risks must be taken seriously