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NATA Statement

Jul 14, 2018
339
43
The National Athletic Trainers Association released a statement with a set of guidelines for youth sports this week. The main focus is about sports specialization, which gets discussed here often. Their recommendations:

1. Delay specializing in a single sport for as long as possible: Sport specialization is often described as participating and/or training for a single sport year-round. Adolescent and young athletes should strive to participate, or sample, a variety of sports. This recommendation supports general physical fitness, athleticism and reduces injury risk in athletes.


2. One team at a time: Adolescent and young athletes should participate in one organized sport per season. Many adolescent and young athletes participate or train year-round in a single sport, while simultaneously competing in other organized sports. Total volume of organized sport participation per season is an important risk factor for injury.


3. Less than eight months per year: Adolescent and young athletes should not play a single sport more than eight months per year.


4. No more hours/week than age in years: Adolescent and young athletes should not participate in organized sport and/or activity more hours per week than their age (i.e., a 12-year-old athlete should not participate in more than 12 hours per week of organized sport).


5. Two days of rest per week: Adolescent and young athletes should have a minimum of two days off per week from organized training and competition. Athletes should not participate in other organized team sports, competitions and/or training on rest and recovery days.


6. Rest and recovery time from organized sport participation: Adolescent and young athletes should spend time away from organized sport and/or activity at the end of each competitive season. This allows for both physical and mental recovery, promotes health and well-being and minimizes injury risk and burnout/dropout.
I found #4 to be the most interesting, as a handy way of measuring what might be considered "too much." DD has a tournament this weekend. At 12 years old, her week looks like this:

- 4 Hours of practice (2 days @ 2 hours each)
- 2 Hours of lessons (1 pitching, 1 hitting, same day)
- 6 Hours of game time (4 game guarantee, 90-minute games)
- 3 Hours of warmup (1 to start Saturday & Sunday, 1 before the last pool game)

So, she's three hours over the guideline, but that's because it's a tournament week. She's good about getting the two days off that they recommend per week. Anyone else want to share how their schedule stacks up?
 
Aug 27, 2019
28
3
Lakewood CA.
The National Athletic Trainers Association released a statement with a set of guidelines for youth sports this week. The main focus is about sports specialization, which gets discussed here often. Their recommendations:



I found #4 to be the most interesting, as a handy way of measuring what might be considered "too much." DD has a tournament this weekend. At 12 years old, her week looks like this:

- 4 Hours of practice (2 days @ 2 hours each)
- 2 Hours of lessons (1 pitching, 1 hitting, same day)
- 6 Hours of game time (4 game guarantee, 90-minute games)
- 3 Hours of warmup (1 to start Saturday & Sunday, 1 before the last pool game)

So, she's three hours over the guideline, but that's because it's a tournament week. She's good about getting the two days off that they recommend per week. Anyone else want to share how their schedule stacks up?
I think one would need to take the sport into consideration with a guideline like this. Playing 4 or 5 games of softball in a weekend is quite different than playing the same amount of soccer games.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Apr 28, 2019
879
43
The National Athletic Trainers Association released a statement with a set of guidelines for youth sports this week. The main focus is about sports specialization, which gets discussed here often. Their recommendations:



I found #4 to be the most interesting, as a handy way of measuring what might be considered "too much." DD has a tournament this weekend. At 12 years old, her week looks like this:

- 4 Hours of practice (2 days @ 2 hours each)
- 2 Hours of lessons (1 pitching, 1 hitting, same day)
- 6 Hours of game time (4 game guarantee, 90-minute games)
- 3 Hours of warmup (1 to start Saturday & Sunday, 1 before the last pool game)

So, she's three hours over the guideline, but that's because it's a tournament week. She's good about getting the two days off that they recommend per week. Anyone else want to share how their schedule stacks up?
I totally agree with R&R days and moderation. Play multiple sports and take breaks.
 
Jul 16, 2018
101
18
Cheer Practice -
Mon (1 hr) Twist Class
Tue (1 Hr) Tumbling
Wed & Sun (5 hours - total)

Softball -
Wed/Thur & Sat - (4 hours - total) (If practice is on Wednesday she goes to cheer so adjust accordingly)
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,963
113
When I was a kid I hit and fielded with my father every day in the summer (maybe < 14 YO or so) and then when he was at work I would play ball with my friends pretty much all day. I maybe had a few hours a week of team activities. I mean if organized is a team activity then I probably averaged less than 3 hour per week but I probably did some sort of baseball activity for more than 30-40 hours a week. Many kids did the same thing with regards to non-organized activities. Same in the winter for basketball. It was what we did before cell phones and 80" TVs.

For my 10 YO DD weeks where she has no games include 4.5 hours of team practice and then another 4 to 5 hours or so of working with me on hitting and fielding, so maybe 9 or 10 hours but only 4.5 hours of "organized" activities. Tournament weeks probably end up with 10-12 hours of team time and another 3 or so with me so maybe 13-15 hours.

My DD plays a lot more games then I ever did, maybe up till the point I started playing Legion (we only had maybe 20 or so district games but probably played another 25 to 30 non-district games), but plays a lot less ball then I did.
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
1,047
113
Some random thoughts from my odd perspective ...

1) @Rick M ... You include “3 hours of warming up” but ... Is it really? Is any kid actually stretching and being active for that full hour before the game? No ... in all reality (particularly with tournaments) that warm up is mental preparation (see #3 below). So your daughter probably is right at the guideline.

2) I really like the philosophy behind the article, but not all sports are created equal. There is a heck of a lot less activity in an hour of softball than an hour of basketball (or soccer as @JumboJack said). The article does not take actual physical activity into account, just hours spent at the sport. Like @pattar, I played more than my fair share of sun-up to sun-down backyard ball games as a kid, but I didn’t do near the physical activity of the kids playing football. Those hours are not equal.

3) The article completely ignores what is probably the best reason to adhere to its guidelines: mental exhaustion. Every one of those guidelines is a wonderful suggestion on how to avoid burning a kid out on a sport.
 

pattar

Clueless..
Jun 8, 2016
3,963
113
Some random thoughts from my odd perspective ...

1) @Rick M ... You include “3 hours of warming up” but ... Is it really? Is any kid actually stretching and being active for that full hour before the game? No ... in all reality (particularly with tournaments) that warm up is mental preparation (see #3 below). So your daughter probably is right at the guideline.

2) I really like the philosophy behind the article, but not all sports are created equal. There is a heck of a lot less activity in an hour of softball than an hour of basketball (or soccer as @JumboJack said). The article does not take actual physical activity into account, just hours spent at the sport. Like @pattar, I played more than my fair share of sun-up to sun-down backyard ball games as a kid, but I didn’t do near the physical activity of the kids playing football. Those hours are not equal.

3) The article completely ignores what is probably the best reason to adhere to its guidelines: mental exhaustion. Every one of those guidelines is a wonderful suggestion on how to avoid burning a kid out on a sport.
Good points. Also one thing to consider is I don't think an hour of a competitive game with teammates counting on you, coaches yelling at you and parents screaming instructions is the same as playing a pickup game with your friends for an hour. We all know that stress does weird things to the body (cortisol levels rise, etc) so the level of physical stress that is put on the body is probably not the same. There was an article in ESPN magazine a while back talking about how kids playing AAU basketball now are falling apart physically once they get to college. I played multiple of hours basketball a day on playgrounds with the worse possible surfaces for your body all throughout the year through my teens, as did many kids who played competitive basketball before AAU became serious (it only started being a thing when I was a teenager and it was nowhere the same level as it now). The issue the magazine mentions has only become a thing since kids started playing multiple organized games every weekend throughout the year.
 
Last edited:
Dec 15, 2018
126
43
CT
After three weeks recovery from greenstick fracture in heforearm, dd got her cast off this Monday. Schedule this week:

mon - 30 mins hitting with me
Tues - 2 hr practice
Wed - 1 hr catching for P1’s lesson
Thur - 1 hr catching practice, 90 min rec practice
Fri - 1 hr batting practice
Sat - rec game
Sun - travel double header

looking back (up to today) and forward to this weekend, on paper it does seem like a lot, but agree that softball is not soccer or lacrosse, and there is a ton of down time. And fall season is just two more weeks, and the team practice and games will go away until Jan.
 
Feb 12, 2014
535
28
DD is 15 and here was her schedule from last week:
Monday - Crossfit, 1 Hour
Tuesday - School Ball Workout, 1 Hour and Cage Time, 1 Hour
Wednesday - Hitting and Fielding Lessons - 1.5 Hours
Thursday - School Ball Workout, 1 Hour, Cage Time, 1 Hour
Friday - Crossfit, 1 Hour
Saturday - 4 Pool Games, 6.5 Hours
Sunday - 3 Bracket Games, 4.5 Hours

What we struggle with is the two full days off. It's virtually impossible in season.

Once fall ball ends, I will try to get her on a schedule that has one full day off per week and limit the hitting to 3-4 times per week.
 

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