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Lessons From The Big Show: Our Kids Need A DL...Just Like The Pros!

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At the expense of sounding like a broken record, let me just
say this: if the pros put their guys on the DL for extended periods of time,
why don’t we do this with our kids?

Many of us saw Daisuke Matsuzaka’s injury last
week as he pitched
. One
minute he was pitching, the next holding what looked to be his side but was
later confirmed to be his shoulder. A meeting on the mound occurred and he was out of
the game. Because he’s a pro ball player, the next step was not unexpected – a
precautionary MRI. He received that on 5/30/08 and was then put on the DL for
14 days

description of the fatigue
is worth reading. 

than the MRI, the way Daisuke’s situation was handled was exactly what our
young athletes need when they complain of pain. They need to be pulled from the
game and allowed the appropriate amount of rest to let the strained body part
rest and return to normal function. That truly does take 2 weeks on average –
sometimes longer. In fact, MLB typically has a 14 day and a 30 day DL and  after that  a player is often out for a season.  This likely is far from the norm  for your kids' sports experiences, and it should be.

the risk of playing on a strained arm? Further strain leading to true sprains
and possible tears with longer rehab and the possible ending of a season – if
not a ball career. Sometimes injuries have to rest because they are really small  fractures - or broken bones. Other times, there may be neurological issues. Regardless of the  cause, healing requires rest and returning to play proper rehab.  In fact, on the Red Sox website, Gary Gellis wrote in his article, Break, Strain, Or Sprain - It's all in the pain: 

ballplayers, getting back into the lineup becomes a full-time job once they are
hurt. It's not a job that anybody wants to keep."

this quote by Mr. Gellis from Avoiding Injuries Starts In Little League:

"Preventing an injury is always
preferable to repairing one. Parents and coaches really have to educate
themselves," he said.(Dr. Arun Ramappa, chief of sports medicine at Beth
Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.)"Most of our kids are never
going to pitch in the Major Leagues. Let's try to help them get through Little
League in good shape."

have fantasies of playing like the pros. Part of being an elite athlete is
knowing accepting gracefully when you have to rehab and be on the DL.  Our kids need to understand that and we need
to insist that their bodies get the rehab required for their injuries.  To  do any less, is putting our kids in harm's way and setting our kids up for further injury.

BTW, did you hear the news? Big
Papi is out of tonight's game
- and I just
heard a report he may need his wrist immobilized for a month. If that's the
case, bad news for the Sox but what's right for Big Papi's health. The Sox are
not taking any chances, from what the news reports all said.  And, Buckholz
is off the DL
but optioned to the Pawsox. Again, the Sox are taking the
conservative path, as they should with a young player with  his entire career ahead of him. 

let’s stop playing games with our kids’ bodies and bench them appropriately. We have the road map for  what a proper DL should look like. Now we  just have to apply it to our kids - and enforce it.