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Dr. Charles Popkin Featured in The New York Times

May 9, 2018

Columbia Orthopedics pediatric sports medicine specialist Charles A. Popkin, MD was featured in The New York Times article “How to Avoid Burnout in Youth Sports.” Dr. Popkin was cited as an expert on overuse injuries and was quoted numerous times in the piece to dissuade parents from encouraging early sports specialization in their children.

From the article:

“Children who specialize in one sport early in life were found to be the first to quit their sport and ended up having higher inactivity rates as an adult,” Dr. Popkin reported, based on findings of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

He emphasized that “parental influence on sports specialization can be profound” and counterproductive if it doesn’t mesh with the child’s goals and interests. If children are to be successful at a sport, the drive to specialize and succeed must be intrinsic, of their own choosing.

“If they lack an intrinsic drive, if they’re not having fun, they’ll likely become frustrated and quit,” he said. “When parents hire personal trainers and coaches, there’s an expectation of success that can create a pressure-cooker scenario and lead to burnout.” In a survey of 201 parents of young athletes, 57 percent hoped their children would play in college or professionally, Dr. Popkin reported.”

For more, read the article here.

Follow Dr. Popkin on Twitter to learn more about the risks of early sports specialization in young athletes.

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