Choosing a sport/activity for your child can be difficult – it shouldn’t be initially – as they progress in age and skill level. Some believe there are factors that come into play when beginning to “specialize”, including injury risk; this is true. However, our current culture is making the sporting issue way more difficult than it needs to be.
I may not be the best parent, certainly I’m not the first to accomplish this feat, but I do try to be A PARENT and not a friend. When it comes to sports I let my children choose what they want to play. My son is now 7, getting ready to get neck-deep in sport and the culture of sports. He has shown some above average skills in a few sports, and loves one sport; however I will not force him to be exclusive, nor will I be crushed if he chooses not to play. I will encourage him and my other kids to play MULTIPLE sports and do multiple things, for their entire life.
Alas, there are some families that are weighing the issue of choosing, say football over soccer, or vice versa; tennis or hoop, etc. Injury risk can be a massive component in this decision so getting all the information is best before choosing, just like making informed decisions. When discussing concussions and catastrophic injuries the sports we play do matter.
Mom’s Team has a video from Dr. Lyle Micheli, Director, Division of Sports Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston, which can be found HERE. It does bring up some good points but it also may be slightly misleading according to Matt Chaney, a catastrophic injury “tracker”;
idiotic, of course, the video and accompanying tripe at link…. cripes, this year flag football has produced more catastrophic injuries than soccer, including collisions killing one flagger and almost two others, and tackle football? at least 200 more cata injuries (versus the likely larger soccer population, all ages)…. meanwhile, brain trauma?
Matt is correct in his assessment of catastrophic injury, he also is correct in the concussion issue. With soccer there is a much greater difference in head trauma, both from mechanism and expected outcomes. Without going too deep in the conversation of how concussions occur; soccer has more “expected” collisions and header, thus allowing for bracing. Where as football/hockey have much greater occurrences of “unanticipated” collisions where bracing is not occurring and the brain/head is whipping around much more.
Dr. Micheli did make good points about how football is not really a life long sport, where basketball, tennis, even soccer can be played for a life time.
The moral of the story is to allow your kids to play sports – A LOT OF THEM – then let them choose what they want to play more of. However you should be a PARENT and not a friend to your children, and fully understand the risks associated with sports going forward, including injury risk. Remember you are the adult.