Due to summer coming rapidly for youth athletes, we want to prevent any upcoming injuries due to reckless fun during the next month. These are three things your youth athlete may be doing, that can lead to an injury.
1. Year-Round Sports (no de-load/time to work on foundation movements)
– Year-round sports are fun and exciting, more than anything it gives your child more exposure to the activity that they like. The only problem with year-round sport is that there is no off-season, meaning that they are always required to be 100% all of the time for games and tournaments. Having no off-season or no de-load periods can be dangerous as it is physically impossible to be 100% all 365 days of the year. This could lead your child vulnerable to many types of injuries that could take them out for weeks to months. It is imperative to give children at least a week or two of a break to help their joints and muscles recover from every season. De-load weeks should happen at least 3 times a year and during this period youth can concentrate on weaknesses that are not tough on joints such as balance, strengthening weaker muscles, and motor control.
2. Overtraining (Too much too soon)
– When talking about youth and injuries it is inevitable to raise the questions about Sport Specificity at a young age. If you were to google what is the leading cause of youth injuries, the number one result that would appear is the negative impact of concentrating on one sport. Unlike the scenario above where we talk about reloading after a season when your child is in the season, they should have at least a day or two during the week to recover from practices. When your youth athlete is in the season there are little few improvements that can be made in speed or strength. During the season don’t change anything or give them extra conditioning or speed work. Prioritize rest, recovery, and sleeping. Also, having recovery days does not imply sitting all day watching TV. Recovery days should prioritize stretching, rolling out, and taking a walk to help joints and muscles get some blood flow and nutrients. Going back to the original point, don’t give your child too much to do during the season and prioritize active recovery days. If you want your youth athlete to improve in strength, speed, or conditioning this needs to be done in the off-season.
– Preseason is more important than what most people think. Pre-season is meant to get your child game ready. If there is an improper pre-season or if there is no pre-season it can lead your youth athletes susceptible to injury. Pre-season should have sport-specific programming, that includes some strength, agility, conditioning, and speed work to get your youth athletes ready for what is to come.
As always, we hope this helps! For any questions and all suggestions, please email us at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com
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