One of the nation’s foremost sports orthopedic surgeons said Wednesday night in Orlando that the best medicine to help prevent youth sports injuries is to avoid playing year-round and not to specialize in one sport.
And don’t approach a child’s athletic pursuits like he is a miniature version of Tom Brady or LeBron James.
“Don’t treat 6- and 7-year-old kids like they’re professional athletes,” Dr. James Andrews told an audience of about 100 at Florida Hospital Orlando. “They’re not ready for that level of high-intensity training.”
Andrews, 73, has operated on many top professional athletes and is the team doctor for several franchises, including the Tampa Bay Rays. He was in Central Florida as part of the hospital’s Distinguished Lecture Series and in support of his book, “Any Given Monday,” about how to avoid injuries in youth athletes.