Can Summer Basketball Lead To Injuries, Emotional Burnout, and Diminishing Skills?

Can Summer Basketball Lead To Injuries, Emotional Burnout, and Diminishing Skills?
 
 



As mentioned in the audio, if you play too many games compared to working on skills, your improvement will be limited.

It may take 20 games or MORE to get enough shots to match what you could do in just 1 skill session.

Along with the improper use of summer basketball to improve players, there are some other problems such as overuse injuries and emotional burnout.
  1. Injuries

    When summer basketball teams play 30 to 60+ games and weekend tournaments that have 3 to 9 games within 36 hours, the players are more prone to injury. Often, the athlete's muscles start to fatigue after 1 or 2 games. When the muscle is fatigued, your chance of injury increases exponentially. There is a reason many NBA GM's dislike their players participating with their national teams. A better option may be a summer program or summer league that involves 2 to 3 skill sessions a week and 1 to 2 games a week.

    According to the book, Sports Specific Rehabilitation by Robert Donatelli, "In 2001 an estimated 18 million children were treated for a sports/physical activity-related injury. Approximately, 50% of those injuries (9 million) were attributed to overuse mechanisms resulting in muscle damage."

    That's a lot of overuse injuries. Could multi-game weekend tournaments and too much of the same sport have something to do with it?

  2. Emotional Burnout

    Specialization and playing too many games can also lead to emotional burnout. This doesn't necessarily happen right away. Often times, it happens around ages 13 to 16. A recent study by AAHPER revealed that over 80% of kids who play in organized youth sports no longer play that sport after the age of 13.

    I often hear the argument, but the kids want to play. This may be true and it's fine to do some summer basketball. However, you don't want to play 50 games! It's better to keep them wanting more than it is to force-feed them until they can't take anymore. It also helps build excitement for next year.

    In addition to burning them out, specializing in a sport at a young age can hurt them as an athlete. In the book Children & Sports Training, Jozef Drabik states that coordination is best developed between the ages of 7 to 14. If this is true, wouldn't you want children to be involved in a wide variety of sports that challenge them differently to produce better athletes? Lebron James played football. Kobe Bryant played soccer. Steve Nash played soccer. Michael Jordan played football and baseball. Who knows how many sports they played as children that helped them turn into great athletes? It surely wasn't 1 and was probably more than 2.

    My advice to youth parents and coaches would be to play seasonal sports. Play a bunch of different sports and make them fun. Kids are kids. A passion won't develop for something that isn't fun. If the passion to do something is gone, so is everything else.

    When it comes time to start specializing (somewhere after age 15) and the athlete has a passion for a sport, they will come to you.

What do you think about the lessons and advice shared? Please leave your thoughts and opinion below...



Comments

Most Likes First   Oldest First   Newest First

Kedwin Grady says:
6/7/2013 at 12:28:09 PM

Thank you brother

Like
   

Ken Sartini says:
5/17/2013 at 10:25:48 AM

Kedwin -

God Bless you for working with that age group, I know what that is like. I spent 13 years working with elementary kids... mostly 5-7-8th graders before I went on to the HS level.

Moving on to the HS level was my first goal, I wanted to know IF I could coach/teach football and basketball there. I achieved that... my next goal was to become the biys Varsity basketball coach which I did for 16 years. I did all this without every playing HS ball at either sport..... so it can be done for your kids too. Have a DREAM.

It sounds like you are doing a great job with those kids, keeping their heads in the right place and pointing them in the right direction... along with setting some goals.
Keep up the good work and be a positive role model for them. :-)

Like
   

Kedwin Grady says:
5/17/2013 at 10:10:26 AM

I work at an inner city elementary/middle school in Detroit, I also coach the 3-5th team and help out with the middle school kids when I can. I love coaching and I love the game just like everyone on this site, this is one of my favorite sites. I teach the kids to set attainable goals, short term and long term, and to be dedicated to doing what it takes to accomplish them. So if a kids goal is to be a collegiate athlete, they need to know that academics and stand-out performances on the court is a must, and we as coaches should communicate that clearly. If that means putting time in at the gym and studying late to finish an English paper, you BETTER do both if you want to accomplish your goal. I also believe that if you aim for the stars, you can reach the clouds, and be farther ahead than the person who didn't give there all. I agree, I have a problem with parents teaching there kids the wrong priorities and trying to live there dreams through their child, but playing at the collegiate level is very attainable, maybe not D-1, but if you love the game, just to play at the next level and be educated is a blessing. My goal is to show the kids in the inner city that going to college is normal, and playing sports at the collegiate level is very possible. The NBA is a long shot and I have my views on that too, most kids do want to be like Mike and Kobe because they see them on TV all the time but they wont be, and we have to tell them the truth about that. Thanks for the response Ken!

Like
   

Ken Sartini says:
5/14/2013 at 2:53:15 PM

Kedwin -

Like you said, each kid is different... I have no problem IF the kid wants to specialize.... the problem I do have is parents thinking this way.... not every kid is going to be like Mike... or the next Kobe or LeBron.

IF they spent that much time on their academics, I think they would be much further ahead in life. How many kids go on to play College ball.... let alone the Pros??

Like
   

Kedwin Grady says:
5/14/2013 at 10:50:32 AM

I agree with this article and most of the comments made supporting the viewpoint of the article, yet their are some generalizations made when the scope of what we are talking about is much broader because we are dealing with different kids and cultures. I live in Detroit, and the athletes here who take basketball seriously live, eat and sleep it. They play in summer leagues and aau ball year round including regular season for schools and don't get burnt out. I believe it depends on the age and passion of the individual. I don't believe in forcing our kids to do things that they don't want to do, but I believe in giving them an opportunity to do what it takes to accomplish their goals. If that means work hard, put time in at the gym and only focus on one sport, make it available to them, and if they want to play multiple sports or take time from competing to relax allow that also. In Detroit, if kids aren't playing basketball or doing something constructive, their is a lot of trouble to get into, so I am all for letting them play basketball all year if that's what they want to do.

Like
   

Ken Sartini says:
1/22/2013 at 2:41:06 PM

I think this is a little early to start specializing... I found as a high school coach that the kids pretty much make up their mind as sophomores as to what sport they want to specialize in. ( This is what Joe said... 15 )

This could happen a year earlier but before that, they should enjoy as many sports as they can, have fun, meet kids and parents... maybe travel to differernt towns etc. JMO

Like
   

Lonnie says:
1/22/2013 at 12:22:49 PM

My 10 year old son has been playing sports year-round since he was age 5 with a different sport each season for a lot of the same reasons people have mentioned. He plays recrational basketball from January through mid-March with practices once a week and 2 games on Saturdays including a double-elimination tournament the last 2 weeks of the season. He's been wanting to play AAU basektball, but it always interfered with baseball. He's been doing a basketball development academy 1-2 times a week for a few months. He tried out for their AAU team and made it (most likely being the starting PG). This AAU team runs from about the end of January through June practicing twice a week and playing 2 tournaments a month. I'm really debating whether to let him play or not. I'm concerned if this will be too much of one sport (6 months). Plus, I'm concerned if he might want to drop baseball (which he's even better at than basketball). What are you all's thoughts?

Like
   

Eric says:
5/2/2011 at 12:14:29 PM

Ive been in coaching for 12 years now, started out in little league baseball and am now at high school basketball and i also umpire baseball and football at all levels. You see this all the time, kids getting pushed by parents to do all of these sports all year round, tournaments every weekend, practices and games during the week. I dont like seeing that, kids may say they want to do that and be telling the parents that they want to do more and more but the parents need to be smart about what they are letting the kids do and how much. simple as that.

Like
   

Jack says:
5/1/2011 at 9:16:24 AM

What you say is definitely true. But this is a battle that will never be won because parents are sold on this stuff as the way of getting their son/daughter a scholarship. The numbers of kids in Summer AAU basketball continues to rise and they will continue to do so, even though the results - a better player - are not being produced.
It is much more fun to travel around the country playing in Showcase Tournaments where you are promised the world and leave without your wallet.

Like
   

a martinez says:
4/29/2011 at 12:46:13 PM

i have a son whos played b-ball since he was three he loves the game. he''s nine now and he wanted to play all year we let him putting him in a variety of b-ball camps and leagues. he''s in a park league now and struggling to play as well as he has in the past.we will be taking a break this summer and i recommend a break between sports or other activities due to burn out. they really need time to play and just be kids.

Like
   

Show More












Leave a Comment
Name
:
Email (not published)
:
Twelve plus thirteen is equal to?  (Prevents Spam)
Answer
:
 Load New Question
Comments
:
Leave this Blank
:
    Check this box to receive an email notification when someone else comments on this page.