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View Full Version : Hurt Girls (NTTimes on another downside to Title IX)



PubliusIII
May 28th, 2008, 08:38 AM
Anyone catch the NY Times Sunday Magazine Article "Hurt Girls" two weeks ago which posited the politically incorrect fact that female athletes propelled by Title IX are ending up as physical wrecks by the time they are young adults? Dealing mostly with girls in soccer, lacrosse, and basketball, there were some hard figures showing, for example, that female athletes in soccer get ACT tears at five times the rate of males. (As expected, swimming did not come up as a source of injury). Most of the letters published this week in response were the reflexive defense of Title IX by the Title IX athletic establishment.

aquageek
May 28th, 2008, 09:33 AM
I am in total agreement. We definitely shouldn't let weak, willowy girls participate in sports cause they might get injured like boys have for years. I agree in that we need to keep them confined to home ec and hopscotch classes.

knelson
May 28th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Yeah, this is terrible. Their knees are so bad they aren't able to push vacuums as well as they should.

Maui Mike
May 28th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Yeah, this is terrible. Their knees are so bad they aren't able to push vacuums as well as they should.

Swimming guarantees at least half the traditional "barefoot and pregnant" goal will be operative.

PubliusIII
May 28th, 2008, 11:04 AM
I purposely winnowed the article down to its sexist essence (The Times was much more periphrastic). Most on this board already hate Title IX for destroying men's swimming. But this article raised to me a totally unexpected other issue- the well being of these female athletes.

Behind it is a more fundamental question: what is the purposes of sport? In addition to physical fitness, sports are suppossed to be play. And they are suppossed to teach values about team work, fair play, good effort, hard work etc. The whole system is so warped with kids specializing in a sport before middle school and giving up all the other activities- totally against the play mentality. And now all the colleges have this voracious appetite for female athletes. So a girl in her Junior year of high school plays through a knee injury or shoulder tear or concussion so that her college acceptance is not derailed. Boys do the same. (Apparently, the article says girls tend to be tougher and try to play through injuries more than boys thus compounding the situation).

But the apparently irrefutable physical evidence is that girls are five times as likely to have serious life long debilitating injuries in the new sporting culture. It is politically incorrect and I suppose illegal to assert that as a broad rule, males are more athletic than females and that participation in sports should follow nature not an unnatural demand for absolute parity. BTW, this is just talking broad averages and I have a daily experience of being obliterated by many woman on my masters team, my sister played college hoops and could probably beat me on one and one. I still think this is yet another reason to scrap Title IX- that and the fact that it has meant the demise of the great sports hero of all time, the walk on wonder (now anathema to Athletic Directors because walk ons upset the Tiitle IX balance.).

LindsayNB
May 28th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Is it possible that the coaching/preparation offered to women isn't as good as for the men? I.e. that the problem is not in the women being injured but in the coaches that are training them and/or allowing them to play through injuries that they shouldn't be playing through?

knelson
May 28th, 2008, 11:18 AM
now anathema to Athletic Directors because walk ons upset the Tiitle IX balance.

Not if they are female.

No question injuries in sports are a serious issue. Even more so when you consider other sports such as figure skating and gymnastics where the top competitors are not competing collegiately. For example Tara Lipinski probably never skated injury free after the age of 15 and there are plenty of other examples of skaters needing hip replacements in their teens or early twenties.

PubliusIII
May 28th, 2008, 11:19 AM
The article seems to suggest that the problem is with the fact that now girls are being driven and coached as if they were boys- and that is sort of the point of Title IX. No one is suggesting that there be a return to powder puff approach to girl's sports. But there should be recognition of physical difference even if culturally different attitudes are illegal.

aquageek
May 28th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Invoking Title IX is a red herring, to me anyway. Kind of like how ASU is hiding behind it for their recent decision. knelson is right about the issue with injuries. I've known two teen girls with major ACL tears. However, Real Sports on HBO recently profiled the huge damage to teen arms from baseball. I think parents go crazy, and baseball, soccer and gymnastics parents are about super loco to begin with.

knelson
May 28th, 2008, 11:26 AM
(As expected, swimming did not come up as a source of injury)

Is this expected, though? I don't have any stats, but it seems to me more girls suffer injuries in swimming than boys, too, but this is purely based on anecdotal evidence. In college I saw lots more girls with ice packs strapped to their shoulders than boys.


The article seems to suggest that the problem is with the fact that now girls are being driven and coached as if they were boys

Or is it because girls are tougher than boys and tend to train harder?

The Fortress
May 28th, 2008, 11:38 AM
I purposely winnowed the article down to its sexist essence (The Times was much more periphrastic). Most on this board already hate Title IX for destroying men's swimming. But this article raised to me a totally unexpected other issue- the well being of these female athletes.

Behind it is a more fundamental question: what is the purposes of sport? In addition to physical fitness, sports are suppossed to be play. And they are suppossed to teach values about team work, fair play, good effort, hard work etc. The whole system is so warped with kids specializing in a sport before middle school and giving up all the other activities- totally against the play mentality. And now all the colleges have this voracious appetite for female athletes. So a girl in her Junior year of high school plays through a knee injury or shoulder tear or concussion so that her college acceptance is not derailed. Boys do the same. (Apparently, the article says girls tend to be tougher and try to play through injuries more than boys thus compounding the situation).

But the apparently irrefutable physical evidence is that girls are five times as likely to have serious life long debilitating injuries in the new sporting culture. It is politically incorrect and I suppose illegal to assert that as a broad rule, males are more athletic than females and that participation in sports should follow nature not an unnatural demand for absolute parity. BTW, this is just talking broad averages and I have a daily experience of being obliterated by many woman on my masters team, my sister played college hoops and could probably beat me on one and one. I still think this is yet another reason to scrap Title IX- that and the fact that it has meant the demise of the great sports hero of all time, the walk on wonder (now anathema to Athletic Directors because walk ons upset the Tiitle IX balance.).

So what are you suggesting be done? If you eliminate the periphrastic vertiginous rhetoric, you want to eliminate sports that are too tough for women so more men can compete?

Parents and coaches can be loco. They don't seem to understand that taking a few weeks off won't ruin the kid's "career" forever.

I think women tend to have more shoulder problems than men in swimming. But isn't that partially because women have more rotations and perhaps looser tendons?

PubliusIII
May 28th, 2008, 11:48 AM
Vertiginous, ouch. This is just another reason to No just another reason to eliminate Title IX. Let sports be as intense and as varied as naturally arises without the quota system.

PubliusIII
May 28th, 2008, 11:49 AM
And yes, the article explains a lot of the injuries as resulting from the greater elasticity women tend to have.

Allen Stark
May 28th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Yes,females have more joint problems than men,yes Title IX hasn't been a panacea,but look at the alternative!Athletic women have better self esteem,feel better about their bodies,are less likely to get in abusive relationships,are less likely to get pregnant as a teen,etc.Anyone who doesn't think athletic participation has been a boon for females isn't paying attention.For boys,far and away the greatest cause of severe injury is football,I guess we should outlaw it.Also we shouldn't let boys pitch and just play T-ball through high school,preferably with a wiffle ball for safety.

aquageek
May 28th, 2008, 12:09 PM
I would think women probably get awfully tired of continuously hearing they can only have qualified equality. There's always gotta be someone telling them "I know better than you."

When I got smoked by (S)he-man I didn't blame Title IX or say I got killed by a girl, I just got beat by a flat out better swimmer.

scyfreestyler
May 28th, 2008, 12:16 PM
I would think women probably get awfully tired of continuously hearing they can only have qualified equality. There's always gotta be someone telling them "I know better than you."

When I got smoked by (S)he-man I didn't blame Title IX or say I got killed by a girl, I just got beat by a flat out better swimmer.

Isn't that what women are always telling men?

LindsayNB
May 28th, 2008, 12:21 PM
The article seems to suggest that the problem is with the fact that now girls are being driven and coached as if they were boys- and that is sort of the point of Title IX.

I have read that title IX makes no mention of athletics at all so I highly doubt that "the point" is to coach girls as if they were boys.

If the problem is that coaches are coaching girls as if they were boys it seems that the logical solution would be to coach girls according to their individual needs and abilities rather than to have less girls participate. I would say that all individuals should be coached in a way that minimizes injuries, regardless of gender.

aquageek
May 28th, 2008, 12:25 PM
I need to duck out of this conversation, I'm agreeing with our two resident commies, lindsay and knelson.

knelson
May 28th, 2008, 12:32 PM
I always knew you were a closet pinko, geek!

I guess by the same reasoning you could make an argument that USMS is causing injuries. Many of us probably wouldn't train as hard without the competitve opportunities provided by USMS. Heck, you might even say swimmers and coaches in USMS are training us like we're kids or something.

scyfreestyler
May 28th, 2008, 12:38 PM
Nobody is being forced to do any of these things. I don't really see what there is to argue about.

gobears
May 28th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Athletic women have better self esteem,feel better about their bodies,are less likely to get in abusive relationships,are less likely to get pregnant as a teen,etc.Anyone who doesn't think athletic participation has been a boon for females isn't paying attention

Important point, here. I wish most of my women friends had played a sport growing up. I swear it makes you ten times tougher and more confident in what your body is capable of. Sports have given women much more than they've taken away, IMO.

Leonard Jansen
May 28th, 2008, 01:24 PM
Or is it because girls are tougher than boys and tend to train harder?

My experience of having coached track on-and-off for over 33 years is that the women who tend to be serious about a sport ARE tougher than the guys. There is a certain Darwinism of having to overcome more hurdles to participate and it really winnows out the wanna-bes from the athletes. I think this was more the case 30 years ago, but still somewhat true. The first time I coached high school (Waterville, Maine 1975), the guys on the team were in awe of how hard the women would train. Me too.

It also taught me that the women's locker room is far, far scarier than the men's.

If women are getting hurt despite good coaching and equipment, well, it's the luck of the draw and I don't think that we should deny them the chance to compete out of knee-jerk nanny-ism.

-LBJ

The Fortress
May 28th, 2008, 02:27 PM
I have read that title IX makes no mention of athletics at all so I highly doubt that "the point" is to coach girls as if they were boys.

If the problem is that coaches are coaching girls as if they were boys it seems that the logical solution would be to coach girls according to their individual needs and abilities rather than to have less girls participate. I would say that all individuals should be coached in a way that minimizes injuries, regardless of gender.

How eminently sensible.

LBJ: Love the "knee jerk nanny-ism" comment!

dorothyrde
May 28th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Wow, this is a silly argument against Title IX and I don't even like the application of it.

Actually I have read articles pointing out that all kids are getting more lifelong injuries because they are starting sport sooner, are specializing earlier and playing their specialty sport year round. When we have tots at 3 playing soccer....well nuff said. What happened to running around the playground in an unorganized fashion enjoying life when you are in elementary school?

Redbird Alum
May 28th, 2008, 03:17 PM
What happened to running around the playground in an unorganized fashion enjoying life when you are in elementary school?

Well put, Dorothy! Actually, I still practice this today! :D

I once read an article in which a pediatrician suggested that parents would get quite the workout by simply getting down to floor level and following their infants around for a day, emulating their bahaviour.

I think the vast number of injuries are caused by too much specialization.

aquaFeisty
May 28th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Actually I have read articles pointing out that all kids are getting more lifelong injuries because they are starting sport sooner, are specializing earlier and playing their specialty sport year round. When we have tots at 3 playing soccer....well nuff said. What happened to running around the playground in an unorganized fashion enjoying life when you are in elementary school?

Living in the land-o-overachieving-parents&kids, I really see this effect in action! Kids of both genders are getting more serious sports injuries because by the time they're 12, the travel baseball kids (just picking a sport here) have baseball practice multiple times a week, private pitching classes, 2-3x/week plyometics drills, extra batting practice, etc etc etc.

Somehow I think Title IX has nothing to do with that...

scyfreestyler
May 28th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Living in the land-o-overachieving-parents&kids, I really see this effect in action! Kids of both genders are getting more serious sports injuries because by the time they're 12, the travel baseball kids (just picking a sport here) have baseball practice multiple times a week, private pitching classes, 2-3x/week plyometics drills, extra batting practice, etc etc etc.

Somehow I think Title IX has nothing to do with that...


That's an example of parents wanting their child to be the next Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods (I've seen a youngster in this position before), or Michael Phelps.

aquaFeisty
May 28th, 2008, 06:57 PM
That's an example of parents wanting their child to be the next Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods (I've seen a youngster in this position before), or Michael Phelps.

Yup... and the parents who are convinced their kid won't make the HS team if they don't start specializing and training the heck out of them before they hit middle school...

dorothyrde
May 28th, 2008, 07:48 PM
Yup... and the parents who are convinced their kid won't make the HS team if they don't start specializing and training the heck out of them before they hit middle school...

And honestly, in my observation they probably won't, because the kids who survive the specialization ARE quite good. Perhaps by the end of HS they are burned out and injured, but the normal kid cannot go out for a HS sport for the fun of it anymore and expect to play or even make the team.

The most fun I had was coaching my DD's slow pitch Junior High team. This league was the group of girls that did not want to play the uber competive fast pitch. They really could care less if they won or loss, but they did want to play for fun and learn, and they were a hoot. There is nothing like this for HS girls, so DD is no longer playing. She is not interested in the real competitive team, so she has now dropped the sport because unless she plays the adult league in town, there is no where to play.

notsofast
May 28th, 2008, 08:32 PM
Those stories about how sports are just too dangerous for our little princesses, I think about them in early August, when the fat kid goes out for the football team, runs the final mile after a week of two-a-days, collapses from heat exhaustion and dies.

Slowswim
May 29th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I've got a question along this line. How do you know when you are pushing too hard versus letting a truly gifted athlete (child) have their shot at the top? Its easy to see the dad living vicariousky through his son, but when is it truly necessary to push so they have the chance down the road?

Example are the gymnasts that are working hours every day starting at 4 years old because they have the talent to make the Olympics. Usually, the whole family works around one kid's schedule. Do you just trust the coach? Ask a 4 year old? Use your gut?

LindsayNB
May 29th, 2008, 04:55 PM
How do you tell whether a 4 year old has the talent to make it to the Olympics?!?

And what sort of training does a 4 year old do that is critical to their success when they're old enough to go?

ALM
May 29th, 2008, 06:36 PM
Yup... and the parents who are convinced their kid won't make the HS team if they don't start specializing and training the heck out of them before they hit middle school...

There is a family that recently moved into a house on my block. They supposedly moved from a much wealthier neighborhood a few miles away. The reason? Because their son had a better shot at being a star athlete in this neighborhood's high school.

pwolf66
May 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Example are the gymnasts that are working hours every day starting at 4 years old because they have the talent to make the Olympics. Usually, the whole family works around one kid's schedule. Do you just trust the coach? Ask a 4 year old? Use your gut?


That is such a tough question because of all the sports, gymnastics seems to be the one where one's 'prime' gets a little younger every year. I honestly don't know but I find it nearly impossible to beleive that that level of talent can be indentified at such an early age. Heck, a huge growth spurt at age 8-9 could wipe out any 'talent' shown at a young age. But I would leave it up to the child, if they don't enjoy it and cases of extreme participation, absolutely LOVE it, then it's not right to push them to that level. It's supposed to be fun, it's not supposed to be work, trust me that comes in another 18 years or so.

Paul

carlos_fernandez
May 30th, 2008, 01:56 AM
So what are you suggesting be done? If you eliminate the periphrastic vertiginous rhetoric, you want to eliminate sports that are too tough for women so more men can compete?
Tis what we call... a strawman (http://100veces.files.wordpress.com/2006/10/strawman.jpg).

Kids. Don't try this at home. :rolleyes:



If women are getting hurt despite good coaching and equipment, well, it's the luck of the draw and I don't think that we should deny them the chance to compete out of knee-jerk nanny-ism.
At least in the case of swimming, I don't think that the gap btw girls and boys and quality coaching is all that big compared to other sports, especially b/c there are few (quality) youth teams that separate boys and girls in training.

Nor should they. ('Course... I've never coached kids, so :dunno: )

As girls and boys pass puberty, however, there needs to be an adjustment in training styles, especially regarding tapering. Men need more rest b/c of higher muscle mass. Far too many masters and youth teams train men and women identically.

I cringed at some of the "tapered" workouts I heard about while in Austin.

dorothyrde
May 30th, 2008, 06:33 AM
I've got a question along this line. How do you know when you are pushing too hard versus letting a truly gifted athlete (child) have their shot at the top? Its easy to see the dad living vicariousky through his son, but when is it truly necessary to push so they have the chance down the road?

Example are the gymnasts that are working hours every day starting at 4 years old because they have the talent to make the Olympics. Usually, the whole family works around one kid's schedule. Do you just trust the coach? Ask a 4 year old? Use your gut?


I don't believe you should have any 4 year old working to make the Olympics. Too many variables that can change. My daughter was teeny tiny and agile at age 4, and really did a lot better than a lot of the kids in her little tumbling class. She remained teeny tiny until puberty, and while she is in no way huge, she is average build and not at all a gymnast build. My son was small as well until his growth spurt at age 17, so at 4 there is no way to tell even with genetics what their build will be.

Elementary children should do what is fun. If it becomes work, it is too much.

aquaFeisty
May 30th, 2008, 07:43 AM
Elementary children should do what is fun. If it becomes work, it is too much.

Exactly! And Paul made a good point about the kids who are really doing extreme work in a particular sport... they need to LOVE that sport.

Re: the early specialization and not making a HS team spot, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn't it? Around here, everyone is convinced that their kids won't make those HS spots, thus the early specialization and all the extra lessons, thus EVERYONE trying for those spots has been through that mega-training system, thus indeed you don't see hardly any relative newcomers making the HS team...

I can't imagine putting a 4 year old in an intense training program. Geez, 4? That's gotta be totally parent-driven. My daughter is 3... I'm proud when she stays focussed enough to make it through the whole 'Wheels on the Bus' song at the end of a swim lesson. :D And while I see nothing inherently wrong with 3 y.o. tot soccer, I am too much of a lazy mom to enroll her in it. I'd rather not have that weekly appt and take her to the pool or the park.

aquageek
May 30th, 2008, 09:14 AM
One thing I've noticed, and wonder if others have as well, is that parents who were elite athletes in college, or even beyond, tend not to push their kids so young. Most have a very relaxed attitude about it all and realize that under about age 10 it's about fun and learning.

I'll be very un PC here and say that the craziest parents I have seen at sporting events are typically out of shape and often very heavy. This is a generalization and an observation on my part. I saw some really fat dude laying into his 7 year old daughter at a meet and I wanted to push him right into the pool, but I wasn't strong enough. Where is Jazz Hands when you really need him?

pwolf66
May 30th, 2008, 10:06 AM
I'll be very un PC here and say that the craziest parents I have seen at sporting events are typically out of shape and often very heavy. This is a generalization and an observation on my part. I saw some really fat dude laying into his 7 year old daughter at a meet and I wanted to push him right into the pool, but I wasn't strong enough. Where is Jazz Hands when you really need him?

Not to agree with Geek (shudder :laugh2:) or to be guilty of a glittering generality, I have also noted that trend or at least a higher ratio.

See, Geek, if you did deadlifts and squats, you WOULD have the explosive strength to do such things.

Paul

knelson
May 30th, 2008, 10:15 AM
I'll be very un PC here and say that the craziest parents I have seen at sporting events are typically out of shape and often very heavy.

My wife has told me the same thing regarding figure skating, which she competes in. She says there are lots of very overweight moms who seem to be living vicariously through their kids' skating achievements.

zegmal
May 30th, 2008, 11:10 AM
I live on the Westside of Los Angeles which has the two ingredients for hyper-competitive youth sports: parents with lots of $ and parents who have trouble saying no to their kids. Soccer and baseball are huge here. My son is in fourth grade and there are two girls in his class that play club soccer. This past season (8 months) they played a total of 64 games and were traveling virtually every weekend. For the most part it's not pushy parents that drive this toxic situation. These kids are talented and driven and want to be on the team with all the good players. Most parents I know find it next to impossible to tell their daughter or son, "Yes, I know you love soccer, and I know you're really good, and I know all your friends are doing it, but I think it's important that you do different sports and have different experiences and give your body a chance to heal." That conversation never happens.

The Fortress
May 30th, 2008, 11:32 AM
I live on the Westside of Los Angeles which has the two ingredients for hyper-competitive youth sports: parents with lots of $ and parents who have trouble saying no to their kids. Soccer and baseball are huge here. My son is in fourth grade and there are two girls in his class that play club soccer. This past season (8 months) they played a total of 64 games and were traveling virtually every weekend. For the most part it's not pushy parents that drive this toxic situation. These kids are talented and driven and want to be on the team with all the good players. Most parents I know find it next to impossible to tell their daughter or son, "Yes, I know you love soccer, and I know you're really good, and I know all your friends are doing it, but I think it's important that you do different sports and have different experiences and give your body a chance to heal." That conversation never happens.

Yeah, $$ can lead to hyper-competitive trouble. I remember when some parent on my kid's travel soccer team bought their kid $150 kangaroo skin cleats and updated us weekly on the national rankings of all local travel teams.

Keeping kids in multiple sports can be hard too though. The time commitment and burnout factor is huge.

By comparison with the parents around here, I am a very mellow, non-pushy parent. More parents need to work on being benign dictators for their kids' sake. Just because a coach says he wants your kid practicing 6-8 times a week doesn't mean your kid should.

knelson
May 30th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Who says specialization is so bad? If your kid finds a sport they love why shouldn't they stick with it?

zegmal
May 30th, 2008, 12:57 PM
Re specialization... according to the NYT article, most researchers that look at the subject believe specialization leads to tons more injuries, in particular joint injuries. Doing different activities gives a kid's body a chance to rest and heal. Also kids learn different life lessons from different sports. Moreover I think it's a good experience for a kid to be a star on one team and a role player on another. What really sucks for a good athlete is that if he doesn't focus on a single sport then he is constantly at a disadvantage when it comes to getting on these year-round teams and getting playing time.

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2008, 02:40 PM
No doubt I'll get eaten alive for saying this but Geek has already outed me as a pinko commie so what the heck. It seems to me that there would be some merit to adding a masters-like approach to sports at the high school and university levels, i.e. with an emphasis on fun, fitness and healthy lifestyle instead of a highly competitive focus. Would it be such a bad thing if high school students participated in swimming as a health and fitness activity even if they weren't as good as the kids whose parents put them into training at age four? It seems like the varsity team or nothing mindset might be contributing to things like the obesity epidemic and the general preference for watching sports over participating in them. I'm suggesting adding a club sport program not replacing the varsity squad.

:bolt:

Chris Stevenson
May 30th, 2008, 02:47 PM
It seems to me that there would be some merit to adding a masters-like approach to sports at the high school and university levels, i.e. with an emphasis on fun, fitness and healthy lifestyle instead of a highly competitive focus. ... I'm suggesting adding a club sport program not replacing the varsity squad.

Around here at the university level, club sports are thriving. I am the faculty advisor for two of them (cycling, swimming) and I can assure you that they are very "masters-like" in their approach. There are some who work very hard and take it very seriously -- the local crew club comes to mind -- while others are more relaxed. Just like masters. Participation is very high in club sports on this campus.

In fact, a William & Mary college student who is captain of her swimming club is swimming with our masters group here in Richmond over the summer.

aquageek
May 30th, 2008, 03:59 PM
Chris is correct - club sports (intramurals) at universities are huge, not to mention super fun, with all levels of competitiveness.

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2008, 04:41 PM
I'm glad to hear that, perhaps it is a difference between here and there or then and now but when I went to university they had swim lessons/classes and a swim team but nothing like masters. There are only a few university affiliated masters clubs in Canada currently. Growing up in Alberta I never heard of high school swimming, there was only club swimming. Does the college club/intermural system extend down into the high schools there?

zegmal
May 30th, 2008, 07:03 PM
I live in Southern Cal. The more serious kids swim and compete year round on club teams, but compete in the spring for their high school teams (although they don't really work out with them). There are kids however that swim and workout just for on the high school team, but the intensity level for those workouts is much less than club.

ALM
May 30th, 2008, 08:40 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080530/hl_nm/baby_boomers_dc_2

Baby boomers' bodies hit by years of wear and tear
By Megan Rauscher
Fri May 30, 3:30 PM ET

"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Doctors who specialize in disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints and ligaments are being kept busy these days, as increasing numbers of baby boomer athletes and exercise enthusiasts hit middle age and beyond...."

"....Ross is also concerned about the alarming rise in sports-related injuries suffered by children and adolescents who overdo it on the playing field. "Today, injuries occur in kids who do sports like soccer, baseball, and ballet year-round, without taking a break. What happens to them 20 to 30 years later, after suffering an injury as a teenager? It's a concern," Ross said"

Ripple
May 31st, 2008, 10:01 AM
...It seems like the varsity team or nothing mindset might be contributing to things like the obesity epidemic and the general preference for watching sports over participating in them. I'm suggesting adding a club sport program not replacing the varsity squad.


I was thinking the same thing. It was hard enough to be the out-of-shape asthmatic kid who got picked last for teams back in the days when it was just kids in better shape who played a variety of sports who were the better athletes. Now it must seem - perhaps realistically - impossible to catch up to the professionally- since-age-four crowd.
When I was in high school they started introducing lifetime sports like cross-country skiiing into gym class. Great idea except they only offered it to the high-level classes. In other words, the kids who were already very good at sports and were likely to be active anyway. Those of us who were in the lower tier mandatory class got the same old cr*p we'd always had in gym class, the sorts of things that made us hate gym class in the first place. They missed a great opportunity to convert sedentary kids into active ones. If I hadn't biked everywhere back then because I was too poor to buy a car, I'd probably be a completly sedentary lump by now.
Getting back on topic, I've never met an ex football player who didn't have some kind of chronic injury or a hockey player who wasn't keeping his dentist in winter vacations. This newspaper article seems very patronizing. It puts me in mind of all the uninformed busy bodies who lectured me about how running would cause my uterus to fall out back in the early eighties :confused:

knelson
May 31st, 2008, 12:57 PM
There are only a few university affiliated masters clubs in Canada currently.
...
Does the college club/intermural system extend down into the high schools there?

I would guess most college club sports don't extend to swimming. Jazz Hands swims for Western Washington University's club team (swimming isn't a varsity sport at WWU), so it isn't unheard of, but the usual club sports are things like soccer, softball, ultimate, etc. You know, team sports that are more fun ;)

I've never heard of intramural sports at the HS level in the U.S. There are definitely exceptions, but for the most part high school sports are pretty inclusive. You don't have to be a superstar to participate. You might spend a lot of time riding the pine during games or meets, but you can be a member of the team.

carlos_fernandez
May 31st, 2008, 01:10 PM
I've never heard of intramural sports at the HS level in the U.S.
My school had them, and they were the source of major laughs, as the names were quite amusing and almost inevitably poked fun at the administration.

Some of my favorite names were "Survivors from Chernobyl", "Zorcasm" (admin thought that it was a video game... didn't quite get the obvious play on "orgasm") and the best... "With Themselves", who somehow got the organizers to put them as the home team every single game. So it was announced on the intercom as, "Zorcasm plays With Themselves", "Survivors from Chernobyl plays With Themselves". :applaud:

At one of my alma maters there's now an intramural team known as "Axis of Relatively Decent Countries". :lmao:

carlos_fernandez
May 31st, 2008, 01:23 PM
The problem w/ having HS swimming/sports be for fitness is that those students FLAKE out on workouts and end up dropping. There's got to be some accountability for high school students b/c of the "I don't wanna" attitude that inevitably sets in.

In my experience as a high school coach (3 years, boys), I was quite successful at pushing the "fitness" swimmers to put in consistent efforts, set goals and realize them. I also taught and trained my swimmers to race, whereas most HS swimmers put in mindless yards.

But the life lessons are extremely important:


analyze the goal
break down the parts needed to achieve that goal (technique, endurance, technique, turns, starts, pacing, pacing w/ technique, speed, technique w/ speed, more technique, etc. Did I mention technique?)
set out on a game plan to achieve that
discuss and plan for breakdowns in the game plan; distinguish btw excuses and constructive critiques of a breakdown
visualize success
etc.


These are directly transferable skills that are applicable to anything in life.

My experience was that even the fitness swimmers got on board w/ the game plan b/c they could see where we were going.

dorothyrde
June 1st, 2008, 07:19 AM
Our HS has intramural basketball. There is club soccer, club basketball(AAU), club volleyball, club track, club swimming, club baseball and softball. All big bucks, all lots of time spent, all much better coaching then you get from the rec league coaching(I was a rec league coach I can say that).

Since I have a very uncompetitive daughter(misses her heats because she is laughing and talking to the timers before a race) she now does no sport but rec swimming, because at the HS level there is no other offering besides club. She does not mind, as she has gotten into theater, and the arts. She auditioned and got a small part in a summer musical, and you want to talk about time.....6:30-9:30 every evening, and tech week will be worse. However, it is her choice, and she is having a lot of fun with it.

She loves to swim, and I can see in a couple of years she will be a great masters swimmer!