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9 Ways We Can Reduce Injuries In Younger Athletes

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Injuries happen to all athletes, but we can do our best as parents, coaches, health care professionals, and athletes, ourselves, to help reduce the risk of injury among youth players. An infographic from National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) provides nine pointers that help show us the way…

#1 Training & Conditioning

Become involved in a regular preseason and/or in-season conditioning and fitness program that also focuses on injury prevention.

#2 Take Time Off During the Week

Schedule at least one day off per week from practices, sports-specific training or conditioning, and competitions for organized sports.

#3 One Sport at a Time

Compete in only one sport during a season at a time. Avoid competing on multiple teams of different sports that would involve more than five days per week of participation.

#4 Take Three Months Off

Take at least three months off (not necessarily in a row) from competing in sports throughout the year.

#5 Take a 1-Month Break

Take at least one month off from competing in a sport after a season ends (e.g., if swimming season ends at the end of January, take a month off before competing in baseball during the spring season).

#6 Do Not Specialize Before Age 14

Do not specialize in a single sport until middle or late adolescence. The Mayo Clinic recommends waiting until 14 years of age.

#7 Balance Organized Sports With Free Play

The total hours of organized sports per week should be less than twice the number of hours spent playing sports just for fun.

#8 Use the Age Formula

The total hours of organized sports per week should be less than or equal to a child’s age in years (e.g. a 12-year-old who plays soccer for only ten hours during a typically week – not more than 12 hours).

#9 Cap All Activity at 16 Hours/Week

The total hours of organized athletic activity should be less than 16 hours per week.

Injury Prevention Help? See a Sports Medicine Doctor In Houston

For more information, schedule an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.