Too much sports practice for kids?
From Sally S. Harris, M.D., MPH
Is it OK for prepubertal children to participate on a team that has daily practices of at least an hour, and several hours of games on weekends? Is this too much?
I would be concerned about the risk of overuse injuries. However, prior to puberty children are at low risk for such injuries. Overuse injuries are generally preventable by obtaining appropriate evaluation and treatment when symptoms develop. A greater concern would be whether the sport was requiring too much time, at the expense of other experiences that comprise a well-rounded lifestyle, such as school, friends, family and unstructured time. If the coaching is age appropriate, the emphasis is on fun and skill development and, most importantly, if the child enjoys the experience, then it is fine to participate.