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There's nothing wrong with athletes taking a little time off

July 15, 2013|By Eric Sondheimer
  • Loyola guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright benefited from taking a little time off from basketball.
Loyola guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright benefited from taking a little… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Here’s some breaking news for every high school athlete: You need to take a break.

Someone -- a parent, a coach, a grandfather, a friend -- needs to remind every teenage athlete to stop for a week or two to let the body rest.

“For baseball and other sports, they need to take three, four weeks off, rest, let their bodies heal,” said Tim Moscicki, the trainer at Los Angeles Loyola for 25 years. “They’re growing. We see more and more stress fractures and growth-plate injuries due to kids who never stop playing.”

Football players who are beginning a three-week mandatory dead period aren’t expected to just sit at the beach all day. They are advised to lift weights three days a week and get their running in so they are in shape when regular practice resumes in August.

But athletes in basketball, baseball and other sports that are in their off-season are advised to take a break before school starts again.

Many won’t.

“I think it’s the perception out there from parents, coaches and kids they have to go to this tournament, they have to go to that tournament,” Moscicki said. “They’re not going to get seen.”

Moscicki gives an example of what can happen when an athlete takes time off. He pointed to Loyola guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who sat out a month during the season to rest an ankle. “Look how well he’s playing because he rested,” Moscicki said.

So a little vacation is good for athletes. No one should feel guilty this summer going surfing instead of hitting at a batting cage for one weekend.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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