sozobe
 
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 10:05 am
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/05/07/magazine/11cover_395.jpg

I keep reading things about this (general injury rate in kid's sports, specific injury rate for girls) and worrying.

Sozlet's in soccer and loves it. She's quite good -- not great, maybe 5th in skill level on a team of 14. She's definitely one of the kids who gets it (when she's in the mood, anyway, and she isn't always) -- she's strong and fast and is one of the few kids at her level who purposely passes to open teammates (who have subsequently scored goals, a few times).

I want her to continue as long as she'd like. But this is scary stuff.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/magazine/11Girls-t.html

Things I take away from the article:

1.) Allow sports, but limit sports. None of this regular league plus club league and traveling for tournaments stuff.

2.) Encourage diversification. A lot of what I see in this article and others is that the specific sports team becomes the kid's life. All of her friends are there, she has nothing to fall back on. That feeds into the need for getting over the injury and getting back into the group.

3.) Encourage toughness, with limits. A few years of glory in HS is not worth a lifetime of crippled knees.

4.) Encourage PLAY, not just sports. This is less from this article than from other things I've read. That increasing focus on organized sports creates repetitive motion injuries and less overall fitness than just plain playing, like a kid. I think this has something to do with the "like a boy" stuff in the article, too. I think boys are more likely to just go outside and run around and be goofy than girls are.

5.) Look into the PEP training. Sounds like it might be promising, and that now is about the time to start. Sozlet does have that "athletic stance" or whatever it's called -- knees bent, butt low.


Overall, scary stuff.

Your thoughts?
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 12:55 pm
Oy, I remember standing on the sidelines being so worried that Jane
will get her teeth knocked out or some other injuries while playing soccer.
With every year they played, they kicked more forceful and the possibilities of a bigger injury increased.

Jane was a strong and fearless player until she got the ball right smack
in the face one day. My heart stopped when I saw what happened. Jane
was screaming, more in shock than out of pain, luckily she wasn't
hurt that much. That did it for her though, she became a more careful
player and she shied away from the ball a lot. Based on that, she sat
at the sidelines quite often, which was fine with her - being with her
friends and supporting the team was more important to her .

Last year she wanted to stop playing soccer and took a liking to volleyball -
a less injury prone sport. Perfect!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 01:49 pm
Just finished the article. Fascinating. I like it that people are working on core strength and support muscle prevention routines. The athletic posture part was interesting too.
0 Replies
 
Bohne
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 03:27 pm
I think you worry too much!!!

0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 08:57 pm
Is having a daughter that plays sports any scarier than having a son who plays sports?

My son was hospitalized for a head injury he got playing rugby. It was a pretty scary time (he is fine now)... but sports is a pretty important part of his identity and I couldn't imagine him not being passionately involved.

My only daughter is 3 (and hasn't started worrying about anything more dangerous than a swing set). I am interested to see if I feel any different when she starts competitive sports.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 09:31 pm
Did you read the article? Long but interesting. As far as possible stupidity,
it probably crosses boards. Still a useful article
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 May, 2008 09:59 pm
Erm, Ebrown, I am loathe to tell you what to read, but please check this one out.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 08:11 am
Thanks for reading the whole article, Osso, and for encouraging others to do so.

It's one of those articles that are hard to excerpt -- if I do one section, I want to do another, and then I've copied and pasted virtually the whole thing and peoples' eyes glaze over.

But I'll try to get some of the most important parts (I still encourage people to read the original):

Quote:


Quote:
David Cooper, Hannah's father, observed: "I once heard that the injury rate in the N.F.L. is 100 percent. It looks to me, in girls' soccer, it's the same thing."


Quote:
A study last year by researchers at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, reported that high-school girls who play basketball suffer concussions at three times the rate of boys, and that the rate for high-school girls who play soccer is about 1.5 times the rate for boys. According to the N.C.A.A. statistics, women who play soccer suffer concussions at nearly identical rates as male football players. (The research indicates that it takes less force to cause a concussion in girls and young women, perhaps because they have smaller heads and weaker necks.)


Quote:
If girls and young women ruptured their A.C.L.'s at just twice the rate of boys and young men, it would be notable. Three times the rate would be astounding.


Quote:


Quote:


Quote:


[explanation of PEP training, a way to teach girls to "move more like a boy" and get strength training that helps avoid injuries]

Quote:


Quote:



See? That's a lot, and still missing all kinds of context and good stuff -- but will give a flavor for people who don't want to read the article.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 08:56 am
Reading the article, at first I was thinking how it was a shame the girls were expected to play "by the same rules" as the boys, since a large part of the problem seemed to come from her anatomy being different.

But, I puzzled over the fact that if the rules were changed, would it be the same game?

When Silvers pointed out various girls and how their stance and movements were indicators of future injuries, that made perfect sense to me. The fact that the one girl who "moved like a boy" hit home.

While a girls anatomy won't behave exactly like a boys (and it shouldn't), girls can be trained to move in a more boy-like way, within anatomical restrictions.

I was thinking how rolfing opened me up, allowing not only a greater range of motion, but actually assuming postions I had never done in my life. When I day positions, I'm talking about sometimes subtle changes, that make all the difference, as those subtle changes in one place causes a chain reaction that ends up effecting the entire body.

I may not have caught this, but perhaps yoga, pilates and rolfing can be part of the training to try to prevent the inappropriate use of body parts in the first place?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 09:15 am
I read the article yesterday but it really stirred up to many memories of the awful childhood insult of "you throw/hit/run/whatever like a girl". Hard to think there might have been some truth in that.

And then it made me think about that whole other converstion about what level of risk you are willing to accept for your child.

And then it made me think of my struggle to learn to tolerate youth sports culture.

And then that made me think of my convo with baseball nanny last week in which we discused kids finding joy in something and the best way to cultivate that.

And that made me think of the Newsweek article about the British Olympic Committee and "self-selection" for sports.

So I didn't respond because I'm all over the map and I'm waiting to see how the conversation gells.

Which is just a long winded way of saying "bookmark".
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 09:47 am
I have now read the article.

I still relate my experience with my older son to this. I can't imagine telling him to limit sports (even after his accident)... sports are too much a part of who he is and the risks of the sports he plays (rugby and boxing being the two most dangerous) are worth it based on what they do for him.

If my daughter has the same drive, competitiveness and passion for sports-- I can't imagine forcing her to limit sports.

Reading the article... I didn't get a real mathematical sense of how much more risky sports are for girls than for boys. I am naturally a bit skeptical of articles trying to make a point. The only number that was worthwhile was the rate of ACL injuries for female soccer players (0.47 or about 1 in 200) and that would have been more interesting if they compared it to the rate in boys.

That being said... I feel strongly that my daughter should be allowed to take the same risks that my sons were allowed to take.

The PEP programs and physical conditioning sound like a great ideas. Limiting the ability of girls to be passionate, and even fiercely competitive, makes me uncomfortable, especially given the the way these traits have benefited my son as a person.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 09:55 am
Well, let's define "limit."

What I said in my first post is that I didn't want her to regular league PLUS club league and traveling for tournaments and stuff.

I'm going to go ahead and let her play soccer if she wants to keep playing soccer -- in one, regular league. From now until middle school, I think, it's a league that plays in the fall and the spring. I think school teams start in middle school -- when I played, the school soccer season was in the fall.

I think that's enough.

She can also play basketball, or volleyball, or softball, or whatever else she wants to play. (Or continue with gymnastics classes, or acting classes, or music classes, or whatever.)

But this year-round, single-sport stuff sounds really dangerous. (Not just for girls.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 09:57 am
(The fall and spring "seasons" in the current league are both pretty short -- about 6 weeks each.)
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 11:01 am
I just saw a program on TV that stated about the same thing - and soccer was the huge sport's injuries for girls.

They did conclude that playing sports was better because of the exercise and not to discourage - I think you just need to smart about it.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 03:18 pm
Until evolution catches up with feminism I think moderation in sports--for boys as well as girls--is wise.
0 Replies
 
mushypancakes
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 07:14 pm
Moderation makes sense. It was an interesting article!

I think those parents who become slaves to young kids devoted to ONE year round intensive sport are nuts for so many reasons anyways.

Girls playing hockey as competively as boys is not really new in my parts, and it does tend to be all-consuming and the injuries..oh god, the injuries.

Especially since it moves up to contact quite fast in some leagues.

I think limiting CONTACT sports for young kids makes a lot of sense. Let them grow up and then decide if they want to risk that.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 07:29 pm
Well, I still like at least the idea of the preventative training program re muscle development mentioned in the article and don't dismiss Chai's ideas out of hand. Naturally, I don't know enough.
0 Replies
 
mushypancakes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 May, 2008 07:40 pm
For sure, osso. Makes lots of sense.

It would be amazing to see more emphasis in general for kids to be involved in preventative measures, and for more emphasis on fitness/health in general too than this competitive vibe.

Though I am a huge fan of sports, it's not the be all end all.

And it's sad to think of some kids who were very heavily involved in sports early on, their parents didn't know about all the risks involved or under estimated the long term damage, and the kids didn't know about it...

and then later on, as an adult, they suffer.

One of my closest friends is an athletic therapist and she has stories that would make you wince!
Quickly fix this kid up and get him back in there....sheesh, they are little kids!
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 May, 2008 08:12 am
BBB
I'm so glad that medical professionals are finally paying attention to women athlete injuries and how to prevent or reduce them. It is long overdue.

I always had been a talented team athlete in school, playing baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and had been on the tumbling team. When tumbling, for some instinctive reason, I avoided any action that stressed my back. I would not do cartwheels, for example.

I learned in my mid 40s that I had undiagnosed disc problems in my spine and also had undiagnosed osteoarthritis from a young age. I thought that anyone who did what I did would hurt like I did. I was wrong and paid for it later in life. No physician had ever connected my pain with my athletic past.

When I was 36 and a member of a women's volleyball league team, I took a step from a standing still position and tore my right knee's cartilage from side to side. My life was changed forever.

I had my first cartilage removal knee surgery at age 36. My right knee lasted for ten years and then failed, requiring a total knee replacement in 1980, a very primitive procedure at that time. The surgery was botched, leaving me disabled and on crutches for two years. It also aggravated my spinal disc problems, leaving me progressively unable to stand or walk for more than an hour.

I don't know if my skeletal problems would have occurred if I had not been an athlete, but I doubt it would have happened so young and so severely. I do know that I didn't have the physical training and medical knowledge at that time to protect my body. My spirit was willing but my body wasn't.

I worry very much about women soccer players. They are at great risk of knee and spinal injuries due to the nature of the game. The quick direction changes required put severe stress on their knees, as much or more than male football players. I hope sports medicine knowledge will help to protect them from my fate.

One of life's ironies is that this year, I had to put down my beloved five year old Bichon, Madison, because his spine failed him. Like BBB, like doggie.

BBB
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 12:11 pm
Late to this party but bookmarking so I can come back after I read the article.
0 Replies
 
 

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