Youth Sports and Psycho Parents – Are You Guilty?

We’ve all seen them – the Psycho Parents on the sideline. They come in two types: The Delusional Parent forces their kid to play “their” sport. They harass the coach for more playing time. And they encourage their kid to play hurt. The Fiercely Protective Parent is deathly afraid that their child will be injured and try to override the child’s desire to play. Both the overachieving and the protective parents can cause a child to either hide or exaggerate an injury, depending on the family dynamic. This makes it hard to determine the true extent of an injury on the field.
Dr. Roy Hughes has been a sideline physician for teams of many different sports, from grade school to college, and sports chiropractor to professional athletes and Olympians. He has many years of experience dealing with both hidden and exaggerated injuries and has many stories to tell from his years in practice. Take this one instructive story:

Is it broke or bruised?
In a recent High School football game, a player came to the sideline indicating that he hurt his hand on a play. The hand looked swollen, but the athlete had good movement and good grip strength. Most likely he just had a bruise. If the child seemed reluctant to play, Dr. Hughes would have pulled him from the game. But the boy wanted to play, so Dr. Hughes gave the OK and monitored the hand through the rest of the Friday game.
Are you sure it’s broke/not broke?
On Monday, the player showed up in Dr. Hughes’ office, complaining that the pain prevented restful sleep. He still had had good movement and good grip strength. Hughes took an in-office x-ray to rule out a fracture, but the scan revealed a hairline crack on a knuckle, commonly referred to as a “boxer’s fracture”. Immobilizing the hand in a heavy cast would hamper the student’s daily activities and possibly prevent him from writing. But Dr. Hughes is familiar with this type of injury and can properly tape the fingers to immobilize the joint and avoid a cast.
Can my kid play next week?
A Psycho Parent might start campaigning to have his son continue playing or a Protective Parent would demand a release for the rest of the season. Hughes’ expert opinion was to let the athlete play, if he wanted. But a second opinion would be welcome. Fortunately, Dr. Hughes has worked with many of the orthopedic surgeons in the Southland. So just to be sure, he emailed the high resolution digital x-ray to one of the finest hand surgeons for his concurrence. The surgeon concurred and Dr. Hughes presented the options to the parents and the athlete.
Are you a Psycho Parent?
In this case, the potential Psycho Parent was Dr. Hughes. His son was the injured player. It was time to look deep within and determine: Am I the Psycho Parent?
It matters little whether or not his son decided to play. What matters is that Dr. Hughes has the expertise of a physician specializing in these injuries and the empathy of a parent who has had to face these decisions. He is able to give expert advice as a physician and helpful advice as a parent.

Although Dr. Hughes treats many sports injuries, the bulk of his work is Family Chiropractic. Common injuries come from the activities of daily living as well as household accidents involving backs, knees, wrists, elbows and other joints. He treats days-old babies to nonagenarians. For more information, contact him HERE.

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