Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sports journalist headlines conference on youth athletes

ST. PETERSBURG — Six years ago in his bestselling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized what's known as the "10,000 hour rule" — the idea that it takes about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill.

Young athletes, their coaches and parents took that to heart — dangerously so, sports writer David Epstein argues.

Epstein, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and author of The Sports Gene, will be in St. Petersburg on Saturday to talk about why he calls 10,000 "the most dangerous number in sports."

He said it has led to "hyperspecialization" — homing in on one sport for at least eight months of the year — and that's neither healthy nor effective for most young people. He said some youth baseball leagues, for instance, have boys pitching so often that they are setting themselves up to need the elbow surgery named for Major League pitcher Tommy John earlier in life. "That used to be an adult injury," he said.

Epstein is the keynote speaker Saturday at "Keeping Youth Athletes in the Game," BayCare's annual sports medicine conference, which focuses this year on the health of middle and high school athletes.

BayCare's sports medicine experts will offer sessions throughout the day to give parents, athletic trainers, youth coaches and health professionals information aimed at keeping young athletes healthy. Topics include preventing overuse injuries; female athletes and eating disorders; managing asthma in child athletes; and gaining a competitive edge through proper nutrition. Experts will also explore the threat of concussion in young athletes.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton St. Petersburg, Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive.

Registration fees are $35 for students, $40 for adults, and $65 for physicians and health care professionals seeking continuing education credits. To register or for more information, visit or call (727) 953-9192.

Sports journalist headlines conference on youth athletes 08/06/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.