Fitness Training

Specializing in one sport? How to keep your young athlete healthy

three basic skills: double leg leaping and touchdown; hip hinges; and single-leg hops. “We need to be proficient with these movements for life in general,” he says, “and beyond proficient as athletes because sports load and stress the body for prolonged periods of time.”

He says athletes who’re adept at these primary motion patterns are much less probably to expertise damage. “Properly trained athletes don’t have to think about the movement, their bodies will just do it,” Shirokobrod says.

Strength training can also be important, and Nessler emphasizes the significance of correct method and training. “It’s one thing to squat 300 pounds, and another to squat 300 pounds the wrong way, with your knees collapsing in, setting you up for an ACL injury,” he says.

He’s a fan of power training on the finish of practices, when muscle tissue are fatigued. “If athletes can keep their limbs aligned properly when they are tired, they’re going to hold up in a game or long practice,” he explains.

Beyond relaxation, primary motion expertise and power training, Nessler additionally emphasizes nutrition and hydration. “I have high school athletes keep a nutrition log for me,” he says. “Most of them have terrible diets and it’s key that they eat and drink to help with tissue repair.”

Bonner appreciates her women’ coaches’ consideration to this. “They are very rigid about what they eat, when they eat and proper hydration,” she says. “I think it really helps with their recovery.”

The psychological recreation

Another hazard zone of single-sport specialization is psychological burnout. This is one thing Dr. Howard Luks, an orthopedic surgeon at Westchester Medical Center in New York, sees on a regular basis. “Parents need to be aware that when their kids don’t get breaks from their sports, many of them turn off,” he says. “Yet sports are so important to development. We learn how to work in groups, how to move and how to take direction.”

Shirokobrod says this psychological stress is why it will be important that training is age particular. “For a long time, we trained kids like scaled-down adults,” he says. “Kids need to have fun and learn through experience.”

He breaks up young athletes into age teams: 6-10, 10-14 and 14-17. “The youngest athletes are very susceptible to herd mentality,” he says. When these youngsters determine strongly with their workforce after which pals transfer on, the enjoyable leaves the equation. They lose curiosity or burn out.

This is the actual tragedy, Luks says. “Parents start the ball rolling and then coaches take it to a higher level,” he says. “We want to do the things that keep kids in sports because active youth tend to be active adults.”

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