As parents, we love watching our kids play youth baseball. There is perhaps nothing more rewarding than watching your son shine on the diamond.
“Little League is about playing, having fun, and learning some of life’s lessons along the way,” writes Stephen D. Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball.
But there comes a point when enough is enough. Is it really necessary to schedule youth baseball tournaments on holidays? It seems like youth baseball organizers use every opportunity to schedule a tournament: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc. Shouldn’t these be days that our young athletes are spending with their families?
“Travel baseball requires a total commitment from a player’s family for the experience to be a rewarding one,” writes Leroy Boyer, Republican Herald sports editor. However, there is such a thing as too much baseball.
Are Holiday Baseball Tournaments Going Too Far?
Quality Time with Family
The holidays should be a family time, not an opportunity to squeeze in another tournament.
“They’re playing in the fall, they’re playing in the spring, they’re playing in the summer – it’s just continuous. I’m concerned with all of them,” said longtime baseball coach Sammy Frichter. “It’s too much.”
Too Much Baseball Increases Injury Risks
“These kids are not just throwing year-round, they’re competing year-round and they don’t have any time for recovery,” said Dr. James Andrews, who believes pitching year-round is the No. 1 risk factor for Tommy John Surgery.
According to a 2013 study of 1,200 young athletes, those who concentrated on a single sport were 70% to 93% more likely to be injured than those who played multiple sports.
“Kids are getting run into the ground,” said Yankees reliever Shawn Kelley, who has twice undergone Tommy John surgery.
What about Burnout?
Nearly 75% of children quit organized sports by the age of 13. Many of these children quit because sports are no longer fun. As crazy as that sounds, it’s true. Sports…games…are no longer fun.
“The more you do anything, the better you’ll be at it,” said Michigan Whitecaps hitting instructor Scott Dwyer. “But I see kids who get burned out. It’s important to play in the spring and summer, but let them play football or basketball, too. Let them be a teenager.”
More from Sandlot Swag
While you are here, please take a moment to browse our entire line of youth Baseball Shorts. And don’t forget, we also offer custom baseball shorts, perfect for travel teams, slow pitch softball teams, flag football teams, and more!