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How Many Games is Too Many?

In the November 2, 2009 ESPN the Magazine, Ric Bucher writes and article titled, “Want to win it all? Then you’d better be willing to lose a few.” The article quotes Ray Allen who says:

“A body wasn’t made to play 82 games.”

If the body of a highly-trained, well-paid professional athlete with access to medical care, massages, therapy, athletic trainers, nutritionists and more is not made to play 82 games, how many games should a developing athlete play each season?

Most high school players play 25-35 high school games during the high school season. However, during the off-season, many play 8-10 more games in a spring league, summer league and/or fall league, meaning 24-30 more games just with the high school team, basically an entire second season.

Many of these players also play with a club team participating in anywhere from 4-12 (maybe more) tournaments where they play anywhere from 3-8 games per tournament or anywhere from 15-60 more games.

These amateur players with developing bodies are playing anywhere from 60-120 games per year, which does not leave a lot of time to develop skills, prepare one’s body for the next season, rest and recover, lift weights to prevent injuries or the other activities that a true off-season provides.

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