Nothing is worse than seeing our children injured. Youth sports injuries are increasing at an astonishing rate. We are seeing an increase in injuries due to single sports specialization, lack of proper training, over-training, and a lack of cross-training.
I sit on the sidelines of a soccer match nearly every night of the week. I almost never see an appropriate warm up… and rarely during the practices do I see any specialized techniques being utilized to improve the chances of an athlete completing a season without an injury. Yes… I do offer to help implement those programs — that’s fodder for another post.
Over the years i have covered many topics which show how to diminish rates of injuries to our youth who participate in soccer, and overhead sports. There are ACL prevention strategies which have been shown to significantly diminish the risk of an ACL tear in soccer players. In addition, the Nordic stretch has been shown to diminish the risk of hamstring injuries. Cross-training has been shown to better prepare an athlete for their chosen sport by challenging their system in ways that their primary sport doesn’t.
Referenced below is yet another article showing that resistance strength training not only led to better performance (no surprise) but also decreased the rate of injuries.
This study showed that strength training accurately and efficiently scheduled in youth soccer players, induced performance improvement and reduced the rate of injuries.
The proof is building slowly but surely. We have tried and true methods to decrease the risk of injury in our children, yet so few programs pay attention. It is up to the parents to begin the discussions with the coaching staff … and it is time for the Athletic Trainers to take the lead in implementing these programs. These professionals perform a critical task in the management of our children’s’ injuries — wouldn’t it be nice if they were tasked with trying to prevent those injuries in the first place. Athletic Directors — time to step up.