More money, more problems
The Notorius B.I.G.
There is a class of health research focused on relating socioeconomic status with overall health outcomes. In most cases if you have more money, you have better health.
This study points to an interesting case of the opposite: poorer health for the upper classes.
The study found that the rate of overuse sports injuries was almost twice as high in children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds compared to those of lower means. They also found a much higher single sport specialization rate in the children from the higher socioeconomic background, which correlated with a higher injury rate.
There clearly is a trend toward children playing more organized sports these days. I am actually astounded by the number of kids that I see who play at least one and sometimes more than one organized sport per season.
I guess I’m no spring chicken anymore (38) but I don’t remember many kids doing that when I grew up. Sometimes the hockey players or gymnasts would. Those sports seemed to require a bit more dedicated time. But now we are seeing it in soccer, baseball, basketball, lacrosse etc.
Kids are specializing in sports earlier. And the widley publicized mega contracts of pro sports stars are likely encouraging more of them to do so. But we must be realistic with them. The odds of going pro are slim: about 1/4000 – 1/10,000 depending on your sport.
Families with more resources can obviously better afford to shuttle their kids to various “travel” and “select” schedules to give their kids every opportunity to succeed in their sport.
But by doing so, they may not be doing their kids as much of a favor as they think.