Orono trainer JP Stowe discusses sports specialization – WABI-TV

WABI-TV Healthy Living Segment-Are we hurting our kids?

Over the last 15 years, the youth sports culture has changed dramatically as parents and coaches are trying to develop their kids into the next big star. Many parents feel pressure or are required by sports leagues and coaches to have their child participate year round in a sport, but what most don’t realize is that sports specialization is hurting our kids! Physicians and athletic trainers are seeing a ten to twenty fold increase in youth sports injuries, some of which can end a child’s athletic career before it even starts. With the likes of travel leagues, AAU, indoor soccer, and indoor baseball, year round play in one sport is an all too common practice that needs to stop.

Here are some concerning facts about what specializing in one sport and playing year round can do at a young age:

1. Children who specialize in one sport account for over 50% of overuse injuries in young athletes. Our bodies hate doing the same thing over and over again and break down much faster when we do so.
2. Children who specialize in one sport have a higher incidence of adult inactivity and obesity. Those first to commit are usually the first ones to quit, with lifetime consequences.
3. Children who specialize early in one sport are 70%-93% more likely to be injured than children who play multiple sports. In a survey of 221 Division 1 NCAA coaches, 93%of them prefer athletes who play multiple sports in high school due to the burnout rate and higher risk of injuries in athletes who play only one.
4. Children who specialize in a sport early are at a greater risk of burnout due to stress, decreased motivation, and lack of enjoyment.
5. Early sport specialization in females is linked to a greater likelihood of anterior knee pain and traumatic knee injuries.

Here are some research based reasons why multi-sport participation is crucial at a young age:

1. Better Overall Skills and Ability: Research shows that early participation in multiple sports leads to better overall motor skill and athletic development, longer playing careers, increased ability to transfer sports skills to other sports, increased motivation, ownership of the sports experience, and confidence. In a study from 2012 published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, young male athletes who participated in multiple sports were found to be more physically fit, have better gross motor coordination, more explosive strength, and better speed and agility than those who specialized in a single sport.
2. Smarter, More Creative Players: Multi-sport participation at the youngest ages yields better decision making and pattern recognition, as well as increased creativity. These are all qualities that coaches of high level teams look for.
3. Most College Athletes Come From a Multi-Sport Background: A 2013 American Medical Society for Sports Medicine survey found that 88% of college athletes surveyed participated in more than one sport as a child. The athletes felt that playing multiple sports helped their bodies develop better by learning and practicing different skills associated with each sport. For instance, soccer teaches endurance and foot skills, basketball teaches hand-eye coordination and jumping mechanics, and football teaches strength and speed. By learning multiple skills over multiple sports, the multi-sport athletes are better developed, all-around athletes.

What you can do as parents with young children interested in sports:

· Children under the age of twelve should go through a sampling period where multiple sports and activities are tested. If your child isn’t interested in a certain sport, that’s okay. Let them participate in something they are excited about.
· It doesn’t need to be a 24/7 schedule of games and tournaments. If so, find another league or group to participate in. Early development of motor skills and learning the game is most important through practice and fun activities. Sports should be fun to learn, not a chore.
· Specialization should not begin until age 17 or 18, when most children are skeletally mature and ready for that next step.
· Take time off from sports! Children’s bodies can take a beating over a sports season. Rather than jumping into the next season as soon as one ends, take a break. Rest and relax and let their bodies recover and heal up. Professional athletes do it all the time, why not our children?

By doing these things we can keep our kids healthy, interested in sports, and excited about the future. Abby Wambach, an Olympic gold medalist, World Cup winner, and multi-sport athlete herself in high school, said it best; “I understand the argument of people being one sport athletes at a young age, but for me and my personality I would get burned out as a young kid playing just one sport. Having the ability to play basketball for a bit throughout the year gave me the chance to crave soccer, to miss it.”

1. Tom Farrey, “Early Positive Experiences: What is Age Appropriate?” <http://www.aspenprojectplay.org/events/early-positive-experiences-what-age-appropriate&gt; Roundtable Summary from the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society “Project Play” Initiative
2. Brooke De Lench, “Early Sports Specialization: Does it Lead to Long Term Problems?” <http://www.momsteam.com/successful-parenting/early-sport-specialization-does-it-lead-long-term-problems&gt; http://www.momsteam.com <http://www.momsteam.com&gt;
3. Franzen J, Pion J, et. al. Differences in physical fitness and gross motor coordination in boys aged 6-12 years specializing in one versus sampling more than one sport. Journal of Sports Sciences, DOI:10.1080/02640414.2011.642808 (available online ahead of print: 03 Jan 2012).

4. Jayanthi N, Pinkham C, Dugas L, Patrick B, LaBella C. Sports Specialization in Young Athletes: Evidence-Based Recommendations. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach 2012;20(10). DOI: 10.1177/1941738112464626 (published October 25, 2012 ahead of print).>

Have a safe and thoughtful holiday

Not your father’s spelling bee – Tickets for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are $7 for general admission and are going fast

Performances will be held Thursday, November 19th, Friday, November 20th and Saturday, November 21st, all at 7 p.m. in the Orono High School Cafeteria.

Orono High School faculty member Cami Carter, a musical theatre graduate of New York University, is co­directing the show with Daniel Perkins, a first ­year student at the University of Maine, past director at Next Generation Theatre and performer at Penobscot Theatre. Sara Sheppard, a University of Maine faculty member and OMS drama director for several years, is music director for the show, with tech direction by Elliott Wilcox.

Meet a contestant

and one of the folks in charge

More championship photos

Our thanks to Jeff Clark at Northscape Photography for sharing this link to more photos from Presque Isle

Tardy leads Maine contingent at New Englands

Source: Tardy leads Maine contingent at New Englands

Click image for video interview

Orono’s 10th place is top Maine team finish in Thetford

Complete information on MileSplit results page

Orono girls team 10th of thirty teams.

With 250 runners and times ranging f rom 18:20.90 to 27:52.00 our girls finished:

12th Tia Tardy,  61st Hannah Steelman, 71st Kassidy Dill, 142nd Olivia Fandel, 173rd Camille Kohtala, 234th Liza Gallandt, 245th Liliana Levitsky


In her own words: Hannah Steelman – Thetford here we come

Source: In her own words: Hannah Steelman – Thetford here we come

From Maine TrackXC MileSplitME 11/8/15

Hey everyone!

I would like to start off by saying congrats to everyone who competed this past weekend at States! There were some crazy fast times and very impressive performances. Watching others compete and actually competing made the weekend so fun and so “thrilling” (super lame Halloween pun).

This year’s state meet was very successful. It was an absolutely beautiful day–a perfect day for a run. The hills were a bit intimidating going into it, especially since I had such a rough time with the course my freshman year, but this year, I loved it! My view on Twin Brook has changed dramatically from freshman year to junior year. It went from being my least favorite, to one of my favorites. It was a bit painful, but very rewarding. Clearly, my teammates were feeling pretty great, too, because they blew me away with their performances. Our top five girls came in 1, 2, 3, 9, and 11, and our other two girls ran exceptionally well. These performances allowed us to be State Champions! Our boys team also ran so well, and ended the season as State Runners-Up to a very talented GSA squad. As a team, we celebrated by shouting out the bus windows as we rode through Orono with our police escort, and then all headed to a teammate’s house for a party that included food, Just Dance, manhunt, and more food.

Sadly, after all of the fun, our spirits were crushed when we learned about the heartbreaking death of Payton Sullivan, a cross country runner and student at Waynflete. Our entire team would like to send our condolences to her family, friends, and the Waynflete community.

On another note, I cannot believe the cross country season is winding down. It seems as if just yesterday was the first day of preseason. Although I’m sad its almost over, I’m looking forward to New England’s at Thetford Academy in Vermont, even though I’ve been told, several times, that its like climbing up a mountain. With all the hill work we’ve done this season, I think we’ll be ready for what that course has to offer. I’m hoping to finish off the 2015 season strong and I’m ready to see what I can do there, with all those hills. But overall, I’m especially excited to have another memorable weekend with my team.

This cross country season has been full of ups and downs. Some races didn’t go exactly the way I wanted. Some races did go exactly the way I wanted. And some races even exceeded what I wanted. Regardless of how each race went, I can truly say I’ve had one of the greatest cross country seasons of my life, and I owe that all to my coaches and teammates.

The season isn’t completely over for me yet, but I still have so much to take away from it. Now, as opposed to the beginning of the season, I am way more mentally tough, I have gained a lot of speed in my legs, I have bettered my nutrition by cleaning out my diet, I’ve grown in leadership, and I have learned even more about the aspect of a TEAM. I could not be more thankful for the group of girls I’ve had the privilege of practicing and competing with throughout these past three years, and I still have one left–how exciting!

I am really looking forward to next season–senior year. I already have some big goals set, and I know I am going to have to work my tail off in the off-season in order to reach them (something I’ve also learned from this season). But before I jump the gun and get too excited for what 2016 has in store, I have to focus on now. So, let’s see what you have in store, New England’s!

One final congratulations to all of you on a great 2015 season! For those of you going to New England’s…Work hard these last couple of weeks and good luck! I can’t wait to see all of y’all there.

Thetford, here we come!

– Hannah