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Book Review: Any Given Monday

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If you watch baseball, heck, if you watch any major sport, you have probably heard the three words:
Doctor James Andrews. As you probably already know, Dr. Andrews is a world renowned surgeon who
operates on many of the world’s elite athletes. Other than having his name constantly mentioned in the
news, the doctor has not had a very public presence. That is, until now. Dr. Andrews has recently written
a book that is to serve as a guideline on how to deal with injuries in sport. His new work is called: Any
Given Monday: Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them, for Athletes, Parents , and Coaches—Based On
My Life in Sports Medicine.

In the book, Andrews details how he believes most sports related injuries are preventable with the right
preparation and training. Some injuries are obviously unpreventable, but that is why it is even more
important for athletes to avoid the injuries that are possible to avoid. Andrews sites the fact that there
were 920,000 athletes under the age of 18 who were treated in emergency rooms across the country
due to sports related injuries in 2007. Andrews suggests with the proper training and preparation, that
number could go down significantly.

The book discusses the following topics:

- The reason that the saying “no pain, no gain” is absolutely wrong.
- The importance of preseason and gradual conditioning in all sports.
- An examination of concussions in you sports across the nation.
- The importance behind having a knowledgeable and caring coach.
- How the number of pitches has a higher correlation to arm injuries than anything else.
- Why it is extremely important to wear a helmet that fits perfectly.
- A discussion of why a highly trained medical professional needs to be present at all youth
sporting events.

One of the major problems that Dr. Andrews discusses in the book is the common ideal that the more
your body aches, the more good work you have done during a workout. He points out that this does not
necessarily mean the workout was good, but could actually mean that the athlete had a bad workout
that happened to put a lot of undue pressure on the body. Dr. Andrews points out that pain is there
for a reason. A person’s body has pain when it doesn’t want to do whatever the owner of that body is
putting it through any longer.

There is an entire chapter dedicated to baseball in which Dr. Andrews illustrates why making sure
athletes are not overworked at a young age is extremely important. For instance, as mentioned above,
one of the topics the doctor focuses on in regards to baseball is the importance of pitch counts at a
young age. The doctor illustrates that many parents who are into baseball history think their kid could
go out and pitch every day because that is what people like Bob Feller did and he turned out alright.
The picture the doctor paints is that while it is true that some athletes, like Feller, were able to pitch
effectively on a daily basis, people who are able to do that without injury are rare specimens.

Comparing one’s son to Bob Feller would be akin to saying that if someone trains the same as Usain
Bolt, they will be able to run as fast. Andrews points out that some people are just born in a way that
makes them athletic freaks, but most are not and the biggest mistake the larger population can make is
attempting to emulate the freaks of nature.

Overall, Dr. Andrews does a good job of providing insightful material without muddling it down with
medical mumbo-jumbo that the average person wouldn’t understand. This book would be a good
read for any parent who has a child who is active in sports, or someone who coaches any type of you
athletic event. While there is certainly a decent amount of time spent on baseball, many other sports
are covered in their own chapters as well illustrating Andrews’ vast knowledge of all competitive events.

Overall rating: 2.5/5

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