CNN recently compiled a list of “5 Ways To Help Your Children Stay In The Game Injury-Free.”
The list goes as follows:
1. Diversify your child’s sports portfolio. Essentially don’t just focus on one sport, but play a variety of sports so as to change the stresses on a young person’s body.
2. Don’t let your child play if he or she is in pain.
3. Know the pitch limits (for baseball). Overthrowing for young athletes can create devastating arm and shoulder problems.
4. Learn the coach’s “injury philosophy.” What is the coach’s philosophy on playing young athletes who may be hurt?
5. Be familiar with the common injuries for your child’s sport.
These are valuable tips, but they miss the most important tip of all!
A group called Canadian Sport For Life has identified the all too obvious answer.
Kids play too much and train too little.
Essentially, most adolescent sports injuries happen for a predictable reason. When our children play a particular sport, there are specific physical requirements of that sport. Does the child, jump, throw, bend at the knees, rotate at the shoulder or waist, and if so, what are they doing to handle those stressful requirements? The common answer is little to nothing.
When you take a close look at the training patterns of professional and elite athletes, the pattern is usually reversed. Professional and elite athletes spend most of their time preparing for their sport and less time actually playing it.
The sport specific requirements obviously differ from sport to sport, but if you have specific questions about injury prevention for your child, please feel free to email me at DrBooker@CapitolRehab.com and enter “Kids Injuries” in the subject line.
Dr. William Booker
Capitol Rehab of Arlington