Athletic related injuries among young athletes have been on the rise for many years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high school athletes alone account for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations every year. With the most common injuries all occurring below the hips – ankle sprain, groin pull, hamstring strain, shin splints, ACL tears, and more.
Has the new standard for athletes become to ignore these injuries and continue competing? Young athletes have been watching their idols play through severe injuries from a young age. Players like Curt Schilling, Tiger Woods, and Keri Strung have founded fame through their ability to play through injuries and still find success. These famous players were not the first or last to play to this standard. A study conducted in 2014 concluded that a staggering 70% of college athletes admitting to playing with an injury at least once.
Although this ability to compete with injuries has been tagged in the U.S as something to admire, the long-term consequences can be severe. With younger and younger athletes taking it to this new standard, the risk further injures has increased. At what age should athletes be able to decide to ‘play through the pain? What game is worth the risk of their health? As of now only time will tell.
To learn more about the current statists of NCAA injuries read here: http://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/NCAA_Football_Injury_WEB.pdf