Kids and sports are a wonderful combination. Team sports benefit our children in many ways ranging from keeping them fit, instilling a sense of belonging, encouraging teamwork, and helping to improve academic performance. But as our kids get older, the competitive edge gets sharper, and our kids have to train harder and longer in order to stand out. With this increased pressure comes a drastic increase in the risk of injury. So what steps can we take to keep our kids safe?
Kids who specialize in one sport are at a significantly higher risk of injury than kids who do not specialize. If you have a child who specializes, be sure to offer an off season activity or sport that does not demand the same movement patterns as their main sport.
Be certain that you child gets one day per week of rest so that their body can repair and rebuild. Keep your kids hydrated and fueled. Tired bodies are injury prone bodies.
Have your kids incorporate strength training and core work primarily as a means to prevent injury.
Teach kids proper movement patterns, and proper form while exercising. This is the time for our kids to build their foundations of movement. Creating bad habits now will result in imbalances that last a lifetime.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. With the mounting pressure to succeed, kids are pushed to train hard and long with a short term goal of becoming faster and stronger. This type of training often results in long term injuries that could end sports careers during, or even before college age. We need to put our kid’s long term health as a priority, and build their bodies slowly and safely.