Dear Luke (age 4) and Alexia (age 22 months):
As I contemplate my birthday wishes for my 40th birthday and the years to come, I realize that I would like to spend more time with each of you encouraging and nourishing your interest in participating in sports.
As you grow up, I wish that you:
10. Want to participate in sports.
9. Engage in good sportsmanship.
8. Train hard, recognize the value of practice, and have a good work ethic, but also recognize that you need time for rest and recovery.
7. Avoid the pitfalls of performance enhancing drugs, disordered eating and body image disorders.
6. Recognize your limitations and the importance of teamwork.
5. Never get a stress fracture, concussion, or torn ACL, but if you do, that you listen to your athletic trainers, doctors, and to your father!
4. Be brave but not foolish, and confident but not cocky.
3. Allow me to provide you opportunity and guidance, but realize that your participation in sports is for you, not for me.
2. Rejoice in your victories and learn from your losses.
1. Not allow your life to be defined by sports, become your life, impair your life, or guide your life, but rather that sports contribute to your leading a happy, healthy and meaningful life.
Andrew M. Blecher, MD, specializes in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. A Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Blecher is a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), and is Board Certified in Sports Medicine. In addtion to providing medical orthopedic care to athletes of all ages and serving as a team physician for an area college and high school and serving as a medical consultant for ESPN, Dr. Blecher has a special interest in running injuries and the evaluation and management of sports concussions, and is a leader in the growing field of Regenerative Medicine, including PRP. For more information on Dr. Blecher, click here. You can follow him on Twitter @the_jockdoc.