WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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outweigh the risks." For instance, he credits the discipline and determination he learned in football for helping him get through his medical residency. Dr. O'Brien does not have kids. If he did, would he let them play? "Yes. Though at the Pop Warner [youth football] level I'd actually be more worried about their knees than any- thing. I wouldn't be restricting them based on the brain. At the high school level I wouldn't restrict them, but I'd have my fingers crossed." With all of this information, what's a par- ent to do? Organized sports have many benefits, above and beyond the very important benefit of cardiovascular exercise. Teamwork, disci- pline, hard work, perseverance, respect, learn- ing from one's mistakes, and handling loss, to name just a few. The vast majority of youth football players will not go on to play at the college or professional level. So how do you weigh the life lessons and physical benefits that can be achieved through football against the risks of physical injury? For us, as for many other parents of youth football players, the discussion, and weighing the pros and cons, will continue. Sam has been looking forward to the foot- ball season since the day the last season ended. He wants to be early to practice and is happy to stay late. I'm hoping he might start running home to do his homework. I'm happy that he's found something he loves, and I enjoy watching him play. 161 f a l l 2 0 1 6 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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