Being a former collegiate basketball player myself I admit I look at my two young children and wonder if they will have any interests in sports and how will they perform. At least in Central Ohio there is a large focus on young athlete development and this is becoming a national trend.
Parents are rightfully concerned about any lower extremity deformity/condition from a functional standpoint, socially amongst other kids, and athletically. So when a parents asks me is this condition going ot hurt my child's athletic performance, and sometimes I'm asked if this condition will impact the chance of an athletic scholarship, I always refer to King James himself. Please see the below pictures:
I tell young patients, and their parents, who have athletic aspirations that we can relieve their foot and ankle pain and deformities however they should let nothing keep them from their goals. Determination, preparation, positivity in adversity, discipline, and luck are involved in reaching your athletic goals. Try to enjoy youth, fitness, and comradery with teammates. Goodluck to all young athletes and remember despite his foot and ankle problems LBJ made it to the NBA and back to Ohio!
Hopefully the parents are able to enjoy watching their child play youth athletics and the children aren't pushed too hard and suffer overuse injuries early in their life. There is a difficult balance of playing a sport the child enjoys enough to be successful and stopping them from overplaying.
Unfortunately, I'm currently seeing young patients in my office with foot and ankle problems that are a result of over training. For an excellent article on the state of youth athletics and these overuse injuries please see the below link from an interview with Dr. James Andrews: