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Kids Doctor: Pressure In Sports

Some parents have dreams of their little athletes one day going pro. But for some children, the pressure can be too much and harmful to their health.
Practice nearly every day, pressure to win, painful injuries…just a few of things young athletes deal with before they turn 10!

Psychologists believe many parents are pushing their kids at a young age hoping they will nurture the next Tom Brady, David Beckam or LeBron James.

Here's the cycle…parents enroll their kids in a sports league or program. Over the next few years, training intensifies and then expands into the off season which means the child will be playing the sport year round. Kids are making many sacrifices and there is no down time to just be a kid.

Once a child enters high school, the stakes are high as winning means championships and potential scholarships to college.

Psychologists say the pressure is very intense, some turn to using performance enhancing drugs and others just burn out.

A recent study by the CDC found that sports-related injuries were more common nationwide than injuries from a traffic accident!  Parents, take a moment and ask yourself: is this too much for my child, am I putting my needs ahead of my child's, and is the level of intensity just too much?

There are many life lessons taught by playing competitive sports. It teaches teamwork, discipline and leadership. Kids can not learn these traits if they're burnt out or sidelined due to an injury. During the early years, emphasize less pressure and more fun.

I'm Dr. Sue with TKD helping parents take charge.

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