Protecting our young athletes
To the Editor:
Even though I’m sure the new Sports East project [an indoor/outdoor sports complex proposed for Mattituck to serve the East End] is meant to excite parents, you should also alert them to how the indoor sports facilities now springing up across America may be exacerbating a growing epidemic among young athletes.
As the son of retired major league baseball pitcher Tommy John, I’ve had to watch my father’s name become attached to a procedure that now affects more kids than professional athletes, with 57 percent of all “Tommy John surgeries” now taking place on athletes between 15 and 19 years old. But it’s not just about baseball.
Since 2010, the nation’s youth-sports industry has grown by 55 percent into a $15 billion industry, and kid’s bodies are paying the price.
These facilities allow you to play a sport year-round, and as research has proven, young athletes spending more than 8 months annually in a single sport not only increase their risk of injury by 70 percent, but they’re more likely to participate in less games, incur more major injuries and have shorter careers.
Please remind sports parents that young athletes need a break if they want to perform at their highest level and these facilities may be more inclined to keep them coming in for lessons, training and programs they think they need to make it big, but all they may yield is big trouble.
DR. TOMMY JOHN
San Diego, California
The writer is the author of the book “Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance: A Sports Parent’s Survival Guide.”
More and more of less and less
To the Editor:
We would like to join several letters of complaints regarding Optimum in the Reporter.
Ever since the takeover from Cablevision, programming has deteriorated or been cancelled (game channel, etc.) while advertising is ever increasing. Films in the Silver Package are mostly B-rated and below. We are getting more and more of less and less with unwarranted increases.
I suppose that we are expected to finance the leveraged takeover from Cablevision and the generous package to management.
We are customers and deserve better. Obviously more competition would be in order.
TRUDY & NEVILLE ATKINS