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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  August 27, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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on the first ever u.n.e.s.c.o. world heritage site, preserving this extraordinary place of spiritual retreat for yooethions for every generation, a challenge they hope they can meet. >> more on our website - aljazeera.com. [ ♪ ] no one wants to see a young person hurt or a future compromised. with every year we learn more about the routine injuries and long-term affects of scholastic sports on young bodies. our dreams of college scholarships and professional glory pushing kids to play more, harder, younger than before. playing the game -
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it's "inside story". welcome to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. in recent years we have seen the tragic stories of young men in their 20, 30, 40, with arthritic hips and failed knees, dimming intellect and are looking at the toll sports can take on adults. heartbreaking as they were, we may be reluctant to tell adults, they can't pay 30 minutes of hoops or deliver a hit at the line of scrimmage, adults eyes are open, they can decide how much risk to take on. what about younger athletes. how many coaches are praising a kid who sucks it up and plays hurt. little league pitch pounds are not stopping young players from getting serious arm and joint surgeries, at shockingly young ages. he's a strong and graceful young
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woman recruited for college cheer, told that the cheer leading accounts for the single largest number of catastrophic injuries to young women. we have this report on the faster, hardest toughest world on the youth in sport. >> reporter: this 17-year-old threw the ball hard. last year, while pitching in a tournament in atlanta, he felt something pop. >> i felt a sharp pain on a pitch, and then, you know, it didn't have velocity on it, it was 10 feet in the dirt, and a couple of weeks later, an m.r.i., there was a partial tear in the legia mment. >> months later, despite rest and rehab, surgery was necessary career. >> you rehab it and rest it and you needed surgical rim. >> i couldn't rehab it again, there was a lot of scar tissue,
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it wouldn't heal up, so the only option, to play baseball, was to have surgery. >> a torn you'll nah or u.c. l is what is treated as tommion surgery, named after the pitcher for surgery. it's common among players. >> you see young people having surgery. college athletes, pro athletes. it's a symptom of a culture of our are sport. and i would say definitely shut your child down for a period of several months, don't let him play all year round. >> staying back, um, down, out. >> researchers say young people are part of an alarming trend. chicago white sox team, dr anthony romeo co-wrote a study. kids between the ages of 15 and 19 make up 60% of all the tommy johns surgeries in the united
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states. it's not the college players or the professional players, but it's high school kids for getting the operation. >> last fall high school soccer player gabby resnick spent most of her year on the sidelines. >> probably one of the most through. the defender hit me in the side of the knee with her knee. i heard two pops. >> gabby tore a stabilizer in her nee, the interior cruciate ligament or acl. that's an injury that is a greater risk in girls than boys. >> girls have more chance of injuring themselves. they have a wider pelvis, it causes them to collapse the knee when it lands and cuts. it's a big contributor. >> no pain. >> his coach, nick hall, says he's seeing injuries become more prevalent in a culture of overusing the best players.
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>> when you are hurting a kids' future. you need to monitor each guy and if he throws three innings, he shouldn't throw the next day. >> hodges is back in training, 6 months after surgery, but is pragmatic about not overusing his arm. >> i'll do more working out to keep the body healthy, keep the legiamm strong, minimising stress. >> the best plan, say the doctors, is to take measures to prevent injuries in the first place only a game - that's the question this time on the programme as we look at the injuries to young athletes. as school opens and scholastic sports programs and youth leagues pick up. we begin with an associate professor of athletic training, and dr gardner of the center for advance orthoo peedics. i am sure the cases you saw in the report are familiar to you.
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>> terribly familiar, i almost thought i was listening to interviews with my own patients. i heard the same thing about tommy john surgery, high school pitchers, almost asking for the surgery because they had elbow pain after pitching an excessive number of innings, and high school soccer players, the females more often having acl injuries, and having to sit out their season. >> we are tinkering with the equipment. we are tinkering with practices, talking about whether young hockey players can body check, how many pitchers a young pitcher can throw. is that enough? >> i think it's the most that we can do, i think it's the best first step. the bottom line is we can't overcome biology, and it is an occupational hazards to play contact sport such as hockey or soccer. the first step in trying to prevent injuries and prolong the car ires of these ---ar keers of
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he is ath -- careers of these athletes is to set programs for pitch counts, opt miss the equipment used, optimize training programs. >> professor, one kind of injury that has a lot of attention lately is getting a concussion. have we changed the culture of kids sports quickly enough though respond to the advances in our knowledge of this area? >> i think it has changed considerably over the last 10 years. >> for example, about 10 years ago the researchers telling us that 50% of the injuries, concussions were going unreported at the high school level. data coming out showing us 25% of injuries being reported. the students, athletes are reporting the injuries, coaches are better trained, coaches are aware of it, medical personnel.
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>> are they happening more than we realized, i think the word concussion has the connotations of a serious blow to the head. is there more. with less outward trauma, than we realized. >> concussion. it's an injury to the brain. the technical term is a mild traumatic brain injury. if you spoke to someone in sports medicine, they'd tell you that the number of injuries, approximately, overthat time, but what we are seeing now is they've been reported more often. 10 years ago, 20 years ago, when someone says i got the bell wrong, i got a ding, i clear the cobwebs, we are recognising that that is a concussion and it needs to be managed. >> are we holding kids out of competition long enough after they get the bell rung? >> certainly, i think it's cod
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improved quite considerably. in the past we'll see people returning the same day. we go back in, there is no state in the nation because of state laws in place that allows for that. there's a minimum 24 hours to confirm the diagnosis. and in most cases, in a high school student, you see them held out for 10-14 days before they go back to play. >> dr garner, more kids are playing year round. they go to summer camp for the sport. after they finish a whole year of competition and training. >> they are. i think that's an element contributing to the increase in the number of injuries. when i grew up you played football in the fall. baseball in the spring. in the summer time you went to a summer camp. there are now year long football camps, basketball camps, and year-long baseball.
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there are a lot of kids playing multiple sports for the entire year. which doesn't allow for them or does allow for them to have a high risk much certain body parts. each has their own set of muscles. >> were the threats greater body. >> because of the popularity of professional sports, the popularity of youth sports increased, and those young athletes aspire to be those older professional athletes, and try to do what their body was prepared to do. >> is it concussion a particular threat to the developing brain? >> we don't really know at this point. there's some merging evidence to say that an injury, possibly injuries that occurred during
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the high school years if it's recognised or managed, that there are no long-term effect. what we are less clear on is the football athlete that plays high school college and professionals, and what that means when they are 50, 60, 70 years old, that's an area we are working on to understand. >> what about the effect of repeat injuries. >> the same thing, with multiple injuries, we know that having a second injury prior to a first, it can prolong the recovery longer. we don't have evidence. there'll be long-term deficits old. >> steven brollio - dr gardner is from the center for advanced orthopaedics. thank you for being with us. >> what would a farmer pro-athlete acquainted with the joys and aches and pains of
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competitive sports tell his own children. >> the whole neighborhood was under 20 feet of water. >> a decade after hurricane katrina, soledad o'brien investigates new orleans divided recovery. >> white home owners and black home owners had a very large gap. >> the residents forced to flee. >> escorted onto a plane by gun point without someone telling me where i'm going. >> and the city's future. >> why should a business come here when this neglect has been allowed to go on? >> an america tonight special, katrina: after the storm.
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you're watching "inside story". i'm ray suarez. on a game - this time on the programme we are looking at youth sports and injuries. joining us now, cj rucker, a former pro-basketball player, international. and son cameron who is playing high school basketball. this is world you know from the inside. what do you tell your own son about the physical sacrifices of playing, do you even want him to play? >> i guess quite obviously being a former athlete myself, and looking at physically what was innate, what he was born with, i share the sentiment of many dads that want to see their sons go further in the sport than i went. i do emphasise on a daily basis, much to his demise, that physical fitness is huge.
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is keeps you protected. and also makes you more of a performer athlete. >> when you get up in the morning, do you feel that you year? >> i feel every day. i think a lot of injuries, i was a high jump ir, i was an impact player. my knees are in constant pain, lower back, constant pain. upper back pain. they come and go, several areas of concern. you hear that, and you conclude what, cameron? >> i mean, i like to play, and i want to go as far as i can, further than he went, just because it's a great accomplishment. i mean, the long term effects, and i'm starting to feel some of
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it now. with the growing pains. life. >> you heard dr gardener talking about how things are playing more in the year, and do you identify with that. >> well, i haven't had a day off in the month, really. basketball is pretty much all the year around. in the spring, summer. but the winter season - that's the official season. >> what if a doctor in your next check up said, you know, it's a couple of months. doctor. i want to play as long as i can, so i'd - i listen to the doctor, but i can't say i would be happy with his recommendation.
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>> do you worry about him getting hurt? >> i do. you know, almost every time he hits the floor, if it's a clean fall, we are okay. he just had a pretty significant injury in the beginning of the spring, that really had us very concerned. not only for what he was enduring, but the long-term effect as well. >> you are a trainer and a teacher. what are you seeing as the state of the art in conditioning that may help cameron and a lot of young men and women to protect themselves, making themselves doorable when they play their chosen sport? >> it's a good question. i'm glad you ask that. noticing that many trainers and coaches, whether they practice that. once you get off the high school level, gym times are limited. i am noticing coaches now that
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are more of a concentration for developing muscle groups, they protect the joints. i teach that especially exercising that they have to protect the knees and lower back. there's a concentration towards that. i would like to see a little more focus, emphasis or enjoy share or recovery. i believe for an athlete that practices his sport 12 months of the year, we have to have a good recovery plan in place as well. >> so what is your plan for this year. you are 15, you are pretty tall. what year - are you going to be in the varsity this year? >> yes, i played varsity last year, to, so my plan is to - we moved up a division in the country. we'll play against higher competition now. and last year
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i was more of a role player. there was one guy scoring the shots, and making most of the points, now he is gone, someone has to... >> step up. >>..step up, yes, that's my next goal, to be the next. >> cameron and cj rucker, thank you for joining us. next, the sacrifice of young athletes using sports to climb
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welcome back to "inside story". i'm ray suarez, this sunday night, al jazeera america will air the documentary sporting dreams. the unflinching look at the lives of three families, and the profound role high school sports play in youngsters lives. take a look. >> i got a confession. >> when. >> about a month ago. >> again.
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>> is your, brain, out. >> like four in the last few years. >> these are things we have to worry about. in the end of last season. there was scrambling in front of the net, and the kid tripped over. he had an elbow in the back of the net. knocked the helmet off and slammed his head into the ice. they went into overtime. he doesn't remember, it was reaction. that was scary. >> we went to the emergency room, it was a scary situation. >> joining me now, adam, producer and coproducer of profiled. >> in the excerpts that i have seen, one of the most shocking parts was the ferocity not of the athletes themselves, as much as the parents,
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things they said to their children and about their children. >> no question about it. for us, the fact that the parents were so involved was very interesting, and the relationship between the child and the parent was a very important part of the us. >> what did they say about the hurt? >> well, what was really nice about these personalities was they were very involved and concerned. and that was a big factor for them. they are always thinking about it. they also talk about how important it is, and what we observe said as film-makers how important it is to be surrounded by people that know what they are doing, great coaches, and that understand how to, you know, deal properly with the young athletes. >> you are a trail blazer.
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boxing is traditionally a mail sport. it is a sport coming under scrutiny for causing dementia, parkinson's, facial deformity, why choose boxing? >> well i have done it since i was young, and it was something i grew up in. when i started i didn't thing that anything like that would happen, but i still don't think it could happen. into. >> do you feel that you've been warned enough, schooled enough when you step in. >> yes, i know the risk and the precautions that it takes to get in there. if you don't want sport. you are going to get injured a little, you are not going to just go with any bumps and bruises, you have to know the risk you are going to
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take. >> what do you come away with, when you took a close look at the young athletes. the desire is really striking. the physical sacrifices that they are willing to make are astounding. what was your take away. >> there was quite a few takeaways. one was how important it is to be surrounded by people that know what they are doing, take care of you, and have the right protocols in place, particularly when it comes to concussions, and the other is the commitment and sacrifice made by the family to pursue the dream. and how involved the families are in that. i'd also say that it's - it was quite nice to see also the bonding that takes place between
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the parent and child as they really pursued the dream. >> have you ever taken a bunch that made your knees buckle. that made you worry a little bit with whether it was too much or stop right now. >> well, the thing about amateur boxing is you wear 10-ounce gloves and head gear. and you get matched up with the same weight subdivision. it was hit with hard shots. nothing that made be want to quit. >> you're heading to a different finished high school. >> yes, yes. arts. >> yes, i'm planning to do that next. >> do you worry about cauliflower ear, busted lip, broken nose, these things? >> it runs through my mind. you're going to have though get bruises in this sport. i didn't want to the get a black
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eye if i was worried about it. i would choose something else. i don't thing about that much. >> thank you for joining us. sporting dreams airs this sunday night on al jazeera america >> i've been asked to keep my voice down cause we are so close to the isil position
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thoughts i know something about love. i'll be in this splint for another month for a distil fracture of a wrist after a cycling accident. as the father of a varsity
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athlete, i would think once or twice before counselling a teenager not to strive for physical effort. but the toll from biggest, faster kids, intensive training at younger and younger ages ought to give us pause. guides getting tommy john's surgery, a sense of proportion, a sense of the future, informed levels of risk would go a long way. no more walking it off. no more heading back to the gain after vision sharpens. a tiny percentage of school athletes get college scholarships to play, and tinier number make a living at it. we have to remind ourselves in our kids until it sticks. i'm ray suarez. and that's "inside story".
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