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At what age should you give up competitive sport?

gerhard dengler

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With age, our bodies start to deteriorate to greater or lesser degrees, but the same cannot be said for our competitive urges.

The reason I ask the question is that a close friend of mine has ended up in Coronary Care Unit of the Mater Hospital after playing a soccer match this weekend.

He's 52 years of age, and had played competitive sport until 10 years ago. Since then while still participating the standard that he played at, became less competitive.
When he hit 50, he finished playing soccer but kept himself in shape through running (3 times per week), hiking and orienteering at the weekend,playing golf, walking, squash during the winter.
By normal standards he is in good shape for his age.

This weekend he answered the call from his old club to tog out "to help make up the numbers"
Being the club man that he is, he answered and ended up in the Coronary Care Unit on Eccles St. for his trouble.

Yeah, one could have a heart scare at any age, but this episode could be as a result of "trying to relive former glory" too.

Thoughts?
 
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Carlos Danger

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Depends on the sport, and the position played in said sport. The physical demands on a goalkeeper are different than those on a midfielder. Golfist vs pugilist. Rally driver vs Tennis player. Jockey vs decathlete.

It's all relative, but as a rule of thumb, I feel people should give up competitive sports when they cease to be competitive.
 

toconn

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In my case about now - idiot aged 54 ! played in a rugby match yesterday which was a retirement game for an old clubmate , sat here now with badly stretched hamstring that occurred after about 5 minutes . Bloody painful and a reminder that the urge is there but the body says no. Good after match beer though , I think I will stick to watching my lads play from now on.
That said it's not as serious as a coronary so best wishes to that intrepid sportman you mentioned.
 

Zapped(CAPITALISMROTS)

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I Gave up competitive sport at 14, because our Soccer manager pulled our team off the pitch after 2 controversial goals that he thought were off-side. After that, all sport for me had to be social and non-judgemental.:rolleyes:
 

corporal punishment

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Theo Walcott appears to have given up already and he's only 28.
 

danger here

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Not sure about sport overall but I do know that if you are a 40 year old goalkeeper from Lifford with the haircut of a 14 year old trying to relive past glories at Euro 2016, you should hang up yer boots (once again)


 

gerhard dengler

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In my case about now - idiot aged 54 ! played in a rugby match yesterday which was a retirement game for an old clubmate , sat here now with badly stretched hamstring that occurred after about 5 minutes . Bloody painful and a reminder that the urge is there but the body says no. Good after match beer though , I think I will stick to watching my lads play from now on.
That said it's not as serious as a coronary so best wishes to that intrepid sportman you mentioned.
I've been guilty of answering the call "look sorry about this but we're stuck for making up the numbers, could you turn out for us tomorrow please?", myself.

As long as I'm not expected to turn to turn in a match winning performance, I'm happy to help out (as best I can these days).
 

peader odonnell

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Not sure about sport overall but I do know that if you are a 40 year old goalkeeper from Lifford with the haircut of a 14 year old trying to relive past glories at Euro 2016, you should hang up yer boots (once again)


Yes ,but he like all of them loves the big money.
 
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I've been guilty of answering the call "look sorry about this but we're stuck for making up the numbers, could you turn out for us tomorrow please?", myself.

As long as I'm not expected to turn to turn in a match winning performance, I'm happy to help out (as best I can these days).
Given that I'm removed from the sports I loved lpaying, I'd say play as long as yu can within your limitations. I miss cricket and hockey.

There are lots of lower leagues where old codgers can play on into the dusk.

I'd happily respond to the call, but - like you - wouldn't expect to turn the match, and I'd likely expect some suffering after the fact. Not always the day after, but definitely two days after.

True story: a couple of years ago I passed the clothes-horse and there was a pair of white trousers on it. For a moment they were mine; drying for a game on Saturday. It was (forgive me) Proustian.

I gulped when I realised that they belonged to my wife; that there was no game at the weekend; that it was all gone.

Grab those games when you can. Seriously. Do it for me. And you.

Sheesh, there are loads of guys who played for your club out of love of the game.

I regret that I left my club playing for the firsts, and I envisaged a glorious descent to the fifths, where I might at least pass on some wisdom. It never happened.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
There is a formula- enthusiasm divided by injuries. When you start noticing injuries more than joy then that is the signal from the bench.
 

Victor Meldrew

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Totally depends on the game.
Regarding the OP? Shows that you can do your best with physical health but when you have an underlying weakness, it will kick in.

Without being crass, having a coronary on the pitch at least means there will be trained first responders to hand.
 

Mr. Bumble

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If I had my time over, I wouldn't have played any sport at all except maybe swimming and walking to keep fit. Too many constant niggling aches and pains these days mean it simply wasn't worth it.

I know you can be lucky and unlucky but, on balance, I would strongly urge any young person to consider not playing sport. In particular, avoid very strenuous and/or contact sports, because there's a lot of life to be led after you retire and you could end up with a lot of pain for a long time.
 

Orbit v2

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Oul lads playing sports like soccer or rugby are a ticking timebomb in my opinion. Not so much for heart problems but injuries to important other body parts mostly in the legs. Running is more predictable, and cycling the ultimate fallback if the legs are totally knackered.
 

silverharp

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there is a U shaped curve of health benefits from sport/fitness but the thing is you hit the bottom very quickly ie peak benefits from moderate exercise. Doing Marathons etc have firmly up the wrong side of the curve.
It will be interesting to see what a generation of insanely fit cycling will do to one's joints in old age for example. On the flip side your bones have an element of use them or lose them and sensible weight lifting can help maintain bone strength. its a tough one.
 

toconn

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Given that I'm removed from the sports I loved lpaying, I'd say play as long as yu can within your limitations. I miss cricket and hockey.

There are lots of lower leagues where old codgers can play on into the dusk.

I'd happily respond to the call, but - like you - wouldn't expect to turn the match, and I'd likely expect some suffering after the fact. Not always the day after, but definitely two days after.

True story: a couple of years ago I passed the clothes-horse and there was a pair of white trousers on it. For a moment they were mine; drying for a game on Saturday. It was (forgive me) Proustian.

I gulped when I realised that they belonged to my wife; that there was no game at the weekend; that it was all gone.

Grab those games when you can. Seriously. Do it for me. And you.

Sheesh, there are loads of guys who played for your club out of love of the game.

I regret that I left my club playing for the firsts, and I envisaged a glorious descent to the fifths, where I might at least pass on some wisdom. It never happened.
I must admit as I'm in England working most of the time for the next few years i'm tempted to sign on for the local cricket club who are always on the lookout for players to make up the thirds on a Sunday afternoon. Not a game I was any good at ( bowled for the school the odd game ) but I have decent eye to ball skills and I can run at a half decent old fellas pace. Like the idea of a sport that serves tea and sandwiches as part of the occasion plus a beer afterwards.
 

gerhard dengler

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If I had my time over, I wouldn't have played any sport at all except maybe swimming and walking to keep fit. Too many constant niggling aches and pains these days mean it simply wasn't worth it.

I know you can be lucky and unlucky but, on balance, I would strongly urge any young person to consider not playing sport. In particular, avoid very strenuous and/or contact sports, because there's a lot of life to be led after you retire and you could end up with a lot of pain for a long time.
I think Luck certainly plays it's part, and anything that you can do to enhance that Luck helps. My own view is that continuing to participate is a contributory factor to Luck.

I played contact sport (rugby) throughout my teens, twenties and early thirties, and I did a bit a boxing for a few years in my late teens early twenties. I played Cricket during the summer. I participated in other sports during the summer as well.

When my rugby playing days ended, I started training with the local GAA teams, just to try to maintain/retain fitness. I also started doing a lot of hiking and orienteering during winter weekends.

I made a point of retaining my membership of all clubs where I had been a playing member. So from time to time, if I got the call I would "tog out" to help the club out, I'd do so. The call could be from the rugby club or the cricket club, or even once where I played a GAA football match. Part of the reason to respond to the call was to help the club out - but another part of the reason was to test myself, to see if I could contribute apart from just being a name on the team sheet.
 

Mr. Bumble

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I think Luck certainly plays it's part, and anything that you can do to enhance that Luck helps. My own view is that continuing to participate is a contributory factor to Luck.

I played contact sport (rugby) throughout my teens, twenties and early thirties, and I did a bit a boxing for a few years in my late teens early twenties. I played Cricket during the summer. I participated in other sports during the summer as well.

When my rugby playing days ended, I started training with the local GAA teams, just to try to maintain/retain fitness. I also started doing a lot of hiking and orienteering during winter weekends.

I made a point of retaining my membership of all clubs where I had been a playing member. So from time to time, if I got the call I would "tog out" to help the club out, I'd do so. The call could be from the rugby club or the cricket club, or even once where I played a GAA football match. Part of the reason to respond to the call was to help the club out - but another part of the reason was to test myself, to see if I could contribute apart from just being a name on the team sheet.
Dunno. I know people in their 50s who are playing competitive indoor soccer. I think they're mad. There comes a time that you should walk away happy that you got away with it. If you did get away with it.
 

Texal Tom

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I did a half iron man 5 years ago after about 2-3 months training. I am one of those never give up types and kept going on my then 40 yr old legs. In a strange way I don't think that I could have done that at age 30 with the same training.

I had hoped to start training earlier but had being playing a weekly 5 a side on Astra turf and got a nasty knee injury trying to catch a fella about half my age who was enjoying watching fattie trying to catch him. That was the last time I played contact sport and was amazed just how many injuries and niggles I picked up over the few months. For me my ship had sailed - my goose was cooked and I hated walking or limping away.

I still do a bit of kayaking but my back isn't great so I tend to take it much easier

A good friend of mine is an athlete and pe teacher and he is appalled by the way gaa and soccer teams treat young people in training and their lack of knowledge about injuries

Sport is great for mental health and also for making friends and feeling part of something in a world that is less and less cohesive.
 

gerhard dengler

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I did a half iron man 5 years ago after about 2-3 months training. I am one of those never give up types and kept going on my then 40 yr old legs. In a strange way I don't think that I could have done that at age 30 with the same training.

I had hoped to start training earlier but had being playing a weekly 5 a side on Astra turf and got a nasty knee injury trying to catch a fella about half my age who was enjoying watching fattie trying to catch him. That was the last time I played contact sport and was amazed just how many injuries and niggles I picked up over the few months. For me my ship had sailed - my goose was cooked and I hated walking or limping away.

I still do a bit of kayaking but my back isn't great so I tend to take it much easier

A good friend of mine is an athlete and pe teacher and he is appalled by the way gaa and soccer teams treat young people in training and their lack of knowledge about injuries

Sport is great for mental health and also for making friends and feeling part of something in a world that is less and less cohesive.
I guess I've been very fortunate thus far in that I've never incurred a serious injury which prevented me from playing sport.

Yeah there are niggles and pains after each event and my performance levels are nowhere near as good as they once were, but touch wood I've been healthy throughout.
 


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