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Injuries and Specialization

Editor's Note: This blog originally was posted July 6, 2010, and the topic continues to be of prime concern today.

There’s an excellent website to which we now link from the health and safety page of MHSAA.com.  It’s stopsportsinjuries.org.

Under “Sports Injury Prevention,” in each of a dozen categories from baseball to volleyball, are numerous articles about injury prevention and treatment and additional resources.

The website is the most public presence so far for a campaign begun in 2007 by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM).

Sports Illustrated in June quoted AOSSM’s president, Dr. James R. Andrews, as saying the focus is really on youth sports and overuse injuries.  “I don’t think epidemic is too strong a word,” said Dr. Andrews.  “We’re seeing kids hurt before they even have a chance to become athletes.

“You just have this enormous pressure nowadays on kids to play that one sport year-round.

“Encourage your child to be involved in more than one sport.  Cross-training helps develop their bodies.  Don’t allow your child to play in more than one league in the same sport in the same season.  That’s how they get burned out.”

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.