Young athletes, charity cases need attention

I read with interest, but no surprise, Lisa Weisenberger’s article on “Putting a STOP to sports injuries.” This article decries the increasing incidence of sports-related injuries in “young athletes” and proposes a campaign of vigorous education of multiple involved adults to “slow, and eventually halt, the rising rate of injuries….”

Leaving aside the unlikely possibility that those who profit from the injuries might be less than ideally positioned to eliminate them, I would suggest that this trend is not so much from inadequate training of the adults involved as it is to the utter loss of childhood play and its replacement by adult striving grafted onto impressionable youngsters.

The phrase “the young athlete” sums up the warped slant of our current culture. Already dressed in uniforms fit to shame all but the major leagues, partaking in concentrated training sessions, expected to focus on one or two sports, these are no longer children at play, but children who have been converted into miniprofessionals, working for the oxymoronic “athletic scholarship” or the even more elusive, brief, but glorious life of an Olympic contender or highly paid major leaguer.

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