How to Beat Burnout in Youth Sports

Focusing on only one sport without a break can lead to injuries and burnout.
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The landscape of youth sports has gone through a large transition from unstructured pick-up games to year-round involvement in organized activities. With the rise of organized sports, many children choose one sport to stick with rather than trying out a variety.

“Many families hope that by focusing on one sport, their child’s chances of receiving a college athletic scholarship are higher,” says Dr. Jennifer Gaitley, a pediatric sports medicine specialist with Novant Health Pediatric Sports Medicine. “Focusing on only one sport or playing without a break can lead to overuse injuries and burnout in youth athletes.”

Backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Gaitley recommends the following three tips:

1. Youth athletes should have at least three total months off from their specific sport of interest. This can be done in one-month increments.

2. During the break, young athletes can remain active in other activities.

3. Youth athletes should have at least one to two days off per week from their primary sport of interest.