Friday Night Tykes, a documentary series premiering tonight on the Esquire Network, is stirring up controversy before it has even begun to air. The series follows 5 San Antonio teams in the Texas Youth Football Association (TYFA), which is touted as one of the most competitive youth football leagues in the country.
Supporters say that participation helps athletes build character and teaches the value of competitive sports. Critics of the show cite the extreme pressure placed on the league’s young athletes by coaches and parents alike and worry that it could cause psychological and/or physical harm.
Given recent news about the long-term effect of concussions, the San Antonio Express-News called on TSAOG sports medicine specialist Dr. Christian Balldin to address the issue of safety in youth football.
According to Dr. Balldin, “Staying active and involved in athletics is something we definitely want for our kids, especially in today’s environment with the epidemic of childhood obesity. However, we want our kids to do it the right way and the safe way. High intensity and contact sports are safe as long as they adhere to proper safety techniques and approved tackling measures.”
Check out the full article in the Express-News here: http://www.expressnews.com/sports/other-sports/article/San-Antonio-tykes-cry-vomit-for-football-glory-5140049.php?t=fb94f10940a578a364
Read Dr. Balldin’s interview with WOAI Radio here: https://woai.iheart.com/articles/woai-local-news-119078/reality-show-friday-night-tykes-raises-11974255/
Read Dr. Balldin’s feature in the story picked up by Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/22/us-usa-football-texas-idUSBREA0L2AU20140122
TSAOG also encourages any concerned parents of football players to check out this information sheet from our friends at STOP Sports Injuries regarding football injuries and prevention tips. Stay safe out there!
Dr. B. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He is fellowship trained in sports medicine and treats sports-related injuries as well as conditions of the shoulder, hip, and knee for patients aged 3 years and up. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595 or schedule online.