ESPN Radio: Dr. Armin Tehrany salutes the newly issued NBA Guidelines for youth basketball

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The ESPN Radio show “New York Sports and Beyond” aired a segment focused on the recently issued NBA guidelines that aim to improve the experience of playing basketball for the children, the parents, and the coaches. The sports and the medical community loudly applauded these first-ever youth basketball guidelines as they aim to promote health and wellness in young players, which is crucial for proper growth and development in youngsters.

The host of the show, Bill Daughtry, invited Dr. Armin Tehrany to weigh in with his professional opinion on the youth basketball guidelines. As an orthopedic doctor with a remarkable experience in providing treatment for sports-related injuries in young, Dr. Tehrany expressed his highest respect and admiration of the idea for improving the overall quality in youth sports.

The complete interview from the radio segment that aired on ESPN New York Radio is available here:

It’s so important for the kids, and much more important for their family members and parents to understand the risks that are involved in sports. Sport is a wonderful thing on many levels, and I’m a huge proponent of it. But like anything else, it has to be done in moderation,” said Dr. Tehrany.

Furthermore, Dr. Tehrany highlighted the importance of balancing the sports activities between what the mind thinks the body can achieve, and what the body can actually achieve. According to his experience, the parents push their children beyond their actual strength, completely unaware that the risks of an intense practice can lead to a permanent damage in child’s body.

The problem is, the muscles are not meant to have that same sport in and out, in and out, in and out. So, guess what? At one point something is going to tear, something is going to break, something is going to get overused, and it’s such a shame for that to happen in such a young person, which is why this is such a critical time for us to do the pitch,” adds Dr. Tehrany.

Even though the risks of severe injuries and damages might be high, parents should not leave their kids out of the game. In order to provide a healthy development for the children, the balance between multiple sports is hugely important. Although sports specialization at a young age has its own benefits, the benefits of playing few different sports are countless, and they tremendously help the children grow healthier, both physically and mentally.

We must push our kids and our families to understand that multiple sports are much, much healthier than single sports specialization, no question about it.

Transcription:
Bill: Bill Daughtry back on New York Sports and Beyond with Dr. Armin Tehrany. He is the founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care, and he does great things with knees and with shoulders, and he’s got some pretty practical advice for young people and their parents.

Dr. Tehrany, thank you for being on the show today.

Dr. Tehrany: My pleasure Bill, thank you.

Bill: So, the NBA has recently come out with some basketball guidelines, some youth basketball guidelines. It’s a first time that a professional organization has really done this. They’ve given you some pretty good guidelines to follow with youngsters. Let’s talk about that. First of all, are you happy, impressed that a professional sports league would even take this step at this point?

Dr. Tehrany: That’s a great question. I’m actually really happy that Adam Silver and his group have decided to take the lead among other sports in prevention, in terms of single sports specialization. It’s so important for the kids, and much more important for their family members and parents to understand the risks that are involved in sports. Sport is a wonderful thing on many levels, and I’m a big proponent of it. But like anything else, it has to be done in moderation. So for them to take the lead like that, they deserve tremendous credit, so I’m really glad you guys are doing that.

Bill: As an orthopedic surgeon, Armin, are you alarmed with the early focus the parents are putting on their kids in terms of sports specialization? I had Tommy John on a couple of weeks ago, and one of the things he talks about, because when we were growing up, Tommy John Surgery, I mean ligament reattachment, that wasn’t heard of, in your elbow. We didn’t have those kinds of injuries, and I asked him what he thought what the major cause is, and in addition to velocity and summer teams and teams that play all year around, he talked about repetition.

Dr. Tehrany: It’s true, you know, in our society we feel as that we constantly have to be getting better and better, and pushing ourselves harder and harder, and I think that’s a wonderful attribute that we have in our American society.

The thing we have to remember is that it is possible to do too much, and the mind of a child can be much more powerful than the body. I tell this to my patients all the time that the kid might feel as though he can play basketball for three hours a night, seven nights a week, multiple games, and handle it because he is excited, he or she has great endorphin kick in. The problem is, the muscles are not meant to have that same sport in and out, in and out, in and out. So, guess what? At one point something is going to tear, something is going to break, something is going to get overused, and it’s such a shame for that to happen in such a young person, which is why this is such a critical time for us to do the pitch.

Bill: Armin, you really can’t overstate to a parent the advantage of a youngster being involved in multiple sports.

Dr. Tehrany: That’s exactly right. The single sports specialization advantages are that the kid feels like he or she is better at it, and get more attention as a result of it, sometimes the parents can’t live by garishly because they wish they were as good at the sport, but they weren’t, so they want to make sure that the kids are good at it. The problem is, this overuse leads to so much damage, and it’s not natural. We must push our kids and our families to understand that multiple sports are  much, much healthier than single sports specialization, no question about it.

Bill: Bill Daughtry with Dr. Armin Tehrany, the founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care. He is also a surgeon who specializes in shoulder and knee, so if you got a problem, maybe he is your guy to talk to.

They talk about the age of 14 as the age that you don’t want to get engaged in specialization with regard to sports before that age. What is so magic about that number?

Dr. Tehrany: I think a lot of it has to do with a research that we have that demonstrates that by that age the likelihood that the damages minimize by going single sport is lower. You bring up a good point, it’s not as though there are so many multiple studies that prove, but there is enough research to demonstrate to us that the younger the kid is at single sport, the tougher it is because they are still growing so much. When 14 or older they are still growing, but it’s a little less. The bottom line is this was a happy medium, this was a good, healthy, fair compromise in terms of at what age we would try to allow more single sports specialization. It’s not that before 14 one has to do two, three, four or five different sports, and then as soon as the 14th birthday hits, they should switch over to single sports. It should be a gradual progression, so when the kid is 7 years old, maybe only one game a week, or only one practice a week, and as the years go by, maybe two practices a week, or two games a week. And then gradually as the age goes up, hopefully, the basketball star will try to still limit the amount because he or she has found other interests in other sports. That’s much, much healthier mentally for the child as well.

Bill: Yeah! I’m glad you mentioned the mental part of it because we look back at Tiger Woods, a golf champion, dominated the sport. He almost becomes a cautionary tale when you look at his life from the time when he was pretty much able to walk, there was a golf club in his hand, to his greatness as a pro. But then to the shortcomings he experienced later on in life because his scope was so limited.

Dr. Tehrany: That’s an excellent example. From what I’ve read, Tiger had a golf club in his hand since he was nine months old. Father is a golf pro, wants to be great – these are all wonderful things in a sense that the father and the son can become closer, they can bond more. That’s great, there are so many wonderful things about kids in sport. But again, when you start very early you can succeed, it’s just very important to understand the proper balance in life, in mind, in health, and especially with a sport. In our society sports are so lauded, as they should be. The thing is it’s important to understand only a very small handful of kids are going to be able to get to the NBA. For the rest of us it doesn’t mean don’t try out, but it does mean maintaining a balance, and by maintaining that balance, you are happy no matter what.

Bill: Dr. Tehrany, tell us about Manhattan Orthopedic Care.

Dr. Tehrany: Thank you. I’ve started a private practice in Manhattan a few years ago, trying to subspecialize in sports medicine, and specifically in minimally invasive surgical techniques in the shoulder and the knee. It’s great to be in a major city, seeing great athletes, and people of all ages and styles, and just trying to be able to give a proper, honest diagnosis for what my patient’s conditions are, and as we discussed before, trying to address them not only physically, but mentally to make sure that I can help them with their quality of life, hopefully prevent them from getting injured in the first place.

Bill: Have you built to a roster of professional athletes yet? Have you engaged with any professional teams?

Dr. Tehrany: I’m not engaged with any professional teams, it’s little hard, I’m still close with my kids, they are still teenagers and it’s hard to do. But, I’m still willing to look into it.