By Aspen McAdoo
Among all MLB players 65 percent of them grew up north of the 33rd parallel. Also, 57 percent of MLB pitchers who had Tommy John surgery grew up south of the 33rd parallel. High school athletes push both their physical and mental capacity to the max when they play sports all year round. While managing both sports and school at the same time, these athletes are more likely to suffer burnout. Burnout is when athletes reach the endpoint of a breaking down process that begins when there is too much stress and not enough recovery. This mainly pertains to the mental side of things. Practicing everyday for weeks can drain out one’s brain and cause them to suffer from it outside of sports. Practicing everyday can also lead to many physical injuries due to so much stress on the body.
High school sports seasons generally last for part of the year, but many athletes play club teams during the offseason. This pushes their bodies to the max and leads to a lot more injuries because they are repeating the same motions. According to joionline.net, “The emphasis on a single sport year-round means the child is using the same muscle groups repetitively with ultimately no break or recovery time.” Studies recommend that athletes should give breaks to recover and play multiple sports until the age of 13.
Many of these athletes rely on the balance of both sports and school for college. This brings major mental demands to these kids. According to bannerhealth.com, “This hyper-focused, year-round training is associated with stress, burnout, and even early withdrawal from sports.” One of the major reasons lots of athletes quit playing their sport is because it brings them no joy anymore. Giving athletes a certain amount of time off is beneficial not only physically but also mentally.
Playing sports is normally physically demanding but playing them nonstop takes it to the next level. Lucas Chigounis, sophomore at Ponte Vedra High School, said, “I play lacrosse nine to ten months as well as playing football for the high school. I injured my hip by putting lots of stress on my body and not listening to my body.” Playing sports all year round puts pressure on athletes’ bodies and not being able to them cause overuse injuries. PJ Pennella a junior at PVHS said, “Playing baseball almost 11 months out of the year tests me and what my body can do. Pretty much every day my body is sore and tired, but I must go out there and perform my best.” Athletes most of the time don’t listen to their bodies and keep playing even when their body has been overused. This leads to many unnecessary injuries that can be avoided.
“Playing baseball almost 11 months out of the year tests me and what my body can do. Pretty much every day my body is sore and tired, but I must go out there and perform my best.”PJ Pennella
Playing sports year round puts stress on a person mentally, between all their schoolwork and performing well in their game. James O’Donnell, a sophomore at PVHS, said, “I play baseball about nine months out of the year, and it pushes my mental capacity to its max. On nights where practice runs late or I have a game, I get five hours of sleep and must get up the next day and go through the day like I got 12 hours of sleep.” Playing sports is very demanding and it burns athletes out so quickly, but they act like they are perfectly healthy. Chigounis also said, “Mentally playing sports all year-round while balancing school puts tons of pressure on me to make sure I maintain my grades while also performing well in sports.” Some athletes can’t keep up with this ultimately causing them to quit the sport they love.