Spotlight: Shriners Children’s

Over training & sports injuries in pediatric athletes

Kids are now training and competing at earlier ages. It’s now more common for kids to specialize in one single sport, rather than play a different sport in each season.

This type of over training also increases the risk of {musculoskeletal} injuries, burnout and dropping out of sports completely. What can we do help our young athletes?

Realizing that some degree of sports specialization is necessary to attain elite-level skill you should keep these things in mind:

  • The Rule of Thumb: The total number of hours training per week should NOT exceed the child’s age. For example, if a child is 8 years old, they should not be training for more than 8 hours/ week. This includes all practices and games.
  • Find a balance. Yes, more training will enhance the body’s ability to adapt. BUT, more training leads to more stress, which leads to fatigue. Too much stress and fatigue will ultimately lead to a poor performance.
  • Have adequate recovery time. Athletes require 8-10 hours of sleep, and a FULL rest day (and no, not a rest day where they play their other sport). Kids also need to eat a healthy well-balanced diet, which includes enough protein and carbohydrates to assist with recovering from training.
  • Train correctly. Yes, athletes will improve skills through specific practice and drills, but they will improve their capacity to perform these skills through strength/resistance training. Kids should focus on power and strength training during the off season, and moderate maintenance when in-season.

The team at Shriners Children’s Philadelphia and Doylestown work hard to treat sport injuries and teach preventative care tactics while caring for children and their families. Does your pediatric athlete need some help? Visit @ShrinerPhilly on social media or call 215-430-4000 to schedule an appointment with our Sport Medicine team!

PHOTO CAP: While the hustle and bustle of sports season may have slowed down for your young athlete, it is still important for athletes to stay active year-round.

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