Youth Fitness: Question on Youth Sports Injuries


Youth Fitness Concerns


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According to the National Center for Sports Safety:


:: Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students


Answer this questions for me –


1) What can we do as an industry to change this reality?


Here’s another stat:


:: Most organized sports related injuries (62%) occur during practices rather than games


2) What needs to change in order to get practice-based injuries down in numbers?


Just click below and answer 1) and 2) for me…


Can’t wait to read your thoughts!



17 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I think one thing that needs to change is that they’ll let just about let anyone with a whistle, coach. This is especially true for rec council and high school sports. We have uneducated coaches, who although may or may not be knowlegeable about the sport they coach, think the more they make their athletes run suicides/separaters/hill sprints, the better off the athlete/team will be. I still see coaches with no rhyme or reason, run their athletes into the ground thinking this is the way to go, either as punishment or strategy. There are days where training in the area of lactate threshold will benefit the athletes, but not everyday. The kids will eventually get hurt.

    Coaches should be educated about child/athlete development to avoid injuries caused by overuse and be given a plan on how to get the most out of their athletes, physically.

    Take NCAA Division 1 college sports for instance. Most have college educated strength coaches with a background in some type of background in exercise physiology to get their athletes the strongest and fastest possible without injury.

  2. Richard says:

    1.) Breaking into the academic system from nursery/kindegarten age is vital. P.E./Games periods need to mean so much more while they are young.

    2.) Teachers, Coaches need a better understanding of the human body and how it reacts to physical activity. The science is vital and need not be boring. Wrap it up in fun and you set these kids up for a life. Warm-Ups should be as important to the athlete as it is to the Coach.



  3. William Davis says:

    I’m on my BlackBerry and typed a few answers here already, wasting hundreds of thumb repetitions! After a few efforts to try and organize some pinpoint answers, I decided I was wrong! Yes, recovery training, nutrition, injury prevention, strength training, mechanics, periodization, and progression all sound like great answers!…but…I think LTAD is a pretty good generalization. Then again, there are lots of great programs focussed on LTAD that fail to prevent the preventable! Sport psychology may offer some positive benefit, giving athletes the right perspectives for training and competition. Lots of coaches shout and yell at KIDS thinking this will somehow magically improve performance quickly. There is little artistry in screaming, and it can easily be misunderstood. Monday, on an adjacent soccer field to my Over-30 training session, a coach was going crazy about “effort” to his 11 year olds. Some parents even watched, thinking it’s “normal”. Maybe all the athletes accept this, and accept their coach, but none were any better that confused, startled kids trying to figure out how to “try harder”. It’s not about winning, or effort, or intensity. It’s about learning, perspectives, artistry as a coach, and being able to communicate all the valuable information necessary (the pinpoints above and more). As coaches, we need to focus on the same, on our own learning, and perspectives, our art of coaching, communicating. As good coaches, we need to set the bar to clearly define what makes good coaches better than average, or the best. In my 15 years as a coach, and countless hours of study and practice, I’m STILL not the absolute best I can be, but I continue to progress little by little, like my athletes. So, the needs of many coaches, programs, and athletes may be similar, or different, but all need good guidance, and good guides. Or even…Great guides.

  4. Mike says:

    A)To cut down on overuse injuries there are several things that need to be addressed. young athletes need to:
    1) Get a physical to rule out any tpye of medical conditions -diabetes, asthma etc.
    2) eat healthy -before , after trainng as welll as through the week
    3) get enough sleep on a daily basi
    4) build strength, stamna and power through games
    5) have fun and enjoy what they are doing
    6) avoid playing mulltiple sports at high level at the same time – mental and physical burn out

    B) To avoid getting injured at practice young athletes must:
    1) get to practice on time
    2) coaches must focus on proper technique
    3) coaches must give approriate breaks to rest
    4) must be clothed properly for the weather conditions
    5) be familiar with the equipment and environment they are in


  5. jim says:


    I coach youth sports year round. I am amazed at all of the sport specific training I see with kids as young 8 years old. By the age of 10 many kids are already focusing on one sport.

    I have 10 year old twins that I,ve been coaching for the past five years…I couldn’t imagine my sons dropping one of the three sports they play (basketball, football, baseball) so they could focus on one.

    This focus on one sport too early leads to repetitive use of certain athtletic movements. Hence, the liklihood of injury from overuseage increases.

    Let kids play multiple sports or take time away if a young athlete is playing a single sport…baseball for example. Let that arm rest.

  6. Aaron says:

    As for overuse injuries occurring, the one thing that needs to change so that injuries are reduced is that coaches need to be more educated on how the body responds to stress and exercise. So many parents are amazed and in awe when I tell them about the stress cycle and that there is an OPTIMAL level of physical stress to be placed on a body. Once that threshold is reached, the stress is no longer a productive entity, but instead is a destructive force.

    To reduce the number of injuries that happen in practice, coaches again need to know how to plan a practice around work and rest, sport skill and movement skill practice. Movement is the foundation of sport. If they would spend more time developing movement, we would not see so many injuries during sport.

  7. Steven says:

    Coaches should know how to manage volume and intensity, both for effective results and for injury prevention. This is essential whether you are coaching fitness training, drills, scrimmages or competitions. The less competent coaches either don’t understand this, or worse, don’t follow these principles.
    Something else that coaches should track for developing athletes in roughly the 10 to 16 age group is peak height velocity (PHV). Understand that at certain stages of physical growth, athletes can be more susceptible to some kinds of injuries, so adapt your training accordingly. It’s not that hard if you keep some simple records.

  8. Dustin Moser says:

    I have read the previous statements and agree with all most all of them. I am a Physical Education Teacher by trade and also love coaching youth sports. The one that seems to register the most is with repitition and single sport specificity. Why at such a young age are we making being a kid have to sound like a job of training. I think over structured training is starting to young. I live in a smaller commuinty in ND and we rely on the athletes to participate in many sports. This gives them the rest from over repetition and also deters burn out in a particular activity. I think the piece we are over looking is the mental aspect of training. Ask the athlete why he is training or playing? Many times you get the wrong answers. I have found that the periodic breaks from one sport to another will grow the hunger and love for the sport they are not participating in. During baseball season players will start too miss playing hockey or football. That is a good thing! I have seen many practice environments that are not safe or educational for the participants. In some situations we need to look at the parental aspect as a motivator. Some parents living the dream through their kids. I have found that when my team has reached its maximal stress level it is time to do some fun team building activities as a physical and mental break from the sport. “Too much of a good thing can be bad for you!” Is a quote I like to use. The key is finding that balance which can be different from one athlete to another.

  9. Rex Holden says:


    Parents should stop sending their kids to camps where the althlete plays 3 to 6 games a day, do speed, agility, strength and other drills before and after the games and all while they are with a group of kids that all trying to impress the coaches and each other. This means that everything that they do is usually done at 100% effort or greater. The intensity, frequency and duration are too high in a short period of time. There bodies are not capable of handling this amount of volume. IAs a physical therapist with 3 busy outpatient clinics we have seen this numerous times. Training should be systematic and workloads should be increased gradually so as to not get repetitive stress injuries. I’d rather see parents put their kids into a program that last 6 to 12 weeks that improves the athletes performance and skills over time. They will get far more from this than a 1 to 3 day camp that is not run well.

  10. 1. Education. Make coaches have to take course such as the ones the IYCA offer. We need coaches with a better understanding of today’s young athlete. There are too many ‘parent’ volunteers who mean well but are just coaching from what they were ‘taught’ or ordered to do 20 years ago.

    2. The athletes need to be taught the skills before they enter drills. Too many coaches take over teams expecting the players to be A) all at the same level and B) be profficient in every athletic skill.
    It is simply not the case. Coaches need to assess their athletes every day. There is no point giving the athletes push-ups to do if they haven’t been taught correctly how to do them. I’ve seen so many coaches yell at their players for not doing suicides correctly or to the coaches liking. I am sure these kids are too tired to even perform them at that moment and I’m pretty sure most have them have not been taught how to change direction sufficiently.

    Teach the athletes and make sure they are introduced to many different movement patterns.

  11. Abhijeet says:

    Hey all there as per my view I think that Coaches must accure good and excelent knowledge for training the Athlete and about the age thier body(phisique)and even mentally for mostly if the athlete is not mentallly prepared he cant adopt the techniques and tactics given by you so properly so always take care of that things which would not effect the athlete either physically or mentally accourding to his capacity the training table must be prepared and must be utilized . God Bless U all

  12. Al Wimberly says:

    Hey I do agree with you, but all rec leader dont fall up under that category because i been one for 28yrs and never had one person injured because i never over exerted them to the piint where there body could recover from the drill are practices.

  13. Phil Hueston says:

    Answer to question #1: Better organized, focused, process-driven, SHORTER training sessions spread over a longer results curve. Challenge: getting most coaches to recognize that this is better for their athletes than a “win right now at all costs” mentality.

    Answer to question #2: Shorter, better organized, focused, process-driven practices. Challenge: most sports coaches have a “my sport is the only sport” “more is better” approach to coaching.

    90 minute “sports training sessions” aren’t the answer to #1.

    3 hour, meandering practices aren’t the answer to #2.

    They’re the causes. WE are the solution!

    Educate coaches and parents about LTAD, then live it in our systems and business practices!

    The results will come and everyone involved will be happier…

  14. John Ebster says:

    I have in the practice of physical therapy for over 25 years and have been an advocate of saving our youth from injury for many years.. I have seen an increase in ACL, Shoulder, Elbow and ankle injuries in kids under 13 years of age an astounding 75%. Why? Is it education? Is it training methods? Is it specilization? I believe none of this is the root of the problem. It is Money, always comes down to it. When we grew up we had coaches that were volunteers some, not all, would educate themselves on advanced coaching methods or practice management, which was good. Did any of them get paid? the answer is NO! They did it for the benefit of the kids, they were not trying to create the next world champ or promising these kids a scholarship. They were there to pass on the love for a sport and lifestyle that helped shape them into the role models kids could look up to. I firmly believe the IYCA is the best resource for information out there to provide evidence based methods for developing a fit, educated, well rounded healthy human beings. The business models are very well put together and almost fool proof. Let us not forget that rent, overhead, employees, equipment and education must be paid for with continued client participation. this means kids must participate to move the business machine. Coaches that get paid don’t want seasonal work they need year around income this is why our kids are encouraged to participate in the year around programs. The kids need rest, the coaches need rest, the parents need rest. My parents and coaches get annoyed with me when they think the workout was “not hard enough” or “Johnnie wasn’t even sore after that workout” or “do you think 2x’s a week is enough shouldn’t they have something 4-5 days a week so they don’t fall behind ?” think about those statements. Fall behind? what about school? What about being a kid and socializing? Remember they are kids and they are allowed to do only what their parents allow. I ask you all be a parent, protect your kid. Listen to them and most of all love them for who they are and not what they might turn out to be.

  15. John Ebster says:

    Soap box aside, identifying the problem is an easy task, finding an answer is much more of a challange. Keep it simple is what I believe as well what you emphasize.

    A) as trainers never assume you and only you know best. First and foremost LISTEN!!
    Listen to the athlete, Listen to the Parents, Listen to your instincts.
    If your athlete seems, looks or expresses fatigue or lack of motivation, ask questions, Listen to the answer and observe body language. If the athlete is not focused or ready to fully participate RELAX! you don’t have to take it personal or try and save the kid from missing out. If an athlete misses a session or a week this could help in the long run. They may respond in a spectular manor with a break through or functional increases because they are both physically and mentally ready to progress.

    B) De-emphasize the result or goal for the short term. All athletes are goal driven otherwise they would not seek your service to become better. Try to make them love the journey, people always are more satisfied loving what they do rather than viewing it as work or punishment. Remember you can not want the result more than your athlete. This always ends in dissappointment for both of you.( and in a lot of cases the parent)

    C) What small injury or impairment occurs in youth compounds as we age. Prevent this as much as you can or you will create an adult that will never live a fit lifestyle due to injury or bad memories. This could end up creating a family with fitness as the enemy, thus evolving into adult onset health issues.

    I realize that this industry is a business but following the best business models and the most successful people in the world, the common thread is estabilishing good, trusting, healthy relationships. The rest takes care of itself.

  16. Roy Alfonso says:

    The past two spring seasons, I’ve been working with my 17 year old son’s soccer coach. This coach is one of the best in the area. He’s coached long enough to have a history of achievements.
    The problem is that neither he nor the soccer club, which consists on 24 teams, believe in off-season training. They believe the kids should play all year long.
    Also, their tournaments have them playing 2 games on Saturday and 2 games on Sunday.
    The soccer community has got to evaluate the physical demand their training and tournaments have on the kids.

    When I read “more injuries occur in practice than in games” I thought well , they practice more than they play. So, it might be close to equal if you look at the times they play the sport. I think that you should practice more than play. Because practice is where you build a skill and a game is where you apply it.
    I think coaches need to know more about warm ups and stretching. I changed the order of the warm up stretch and added a couple of stretches to the 17 year old and we had two seasons of injury free.

    I short EDUCATION is the way to go.

  17. Janila says:

    1) I must agree with Chris that basically anyone with a whistle is allowed to coach. I see this firsthand at my local soccer club where coaches require only a State E Certification. A few (I say a few because not all coaches do this) coaches run their kids for 30-45 minutes as a warmup every practice at different tempos ie 50, 75, 90% etc. with short breaks. I can’t see the logic in this; the coach(es) consider this speed training! This is especially frustrating as I know better–thanks to Latif Thomas. After that, the coach expects a 100% effort in scrimmaging. Perhaps a big source of overuse injuries comes from pointless running?

    2) Practiced-based injury rates would drastically decrease if coaches were more educated. I’m sure they are very knowledgeable, but most coaches I’ve met/seen have no basic understanding on (to name a few) running biomechanics, range of motion, or recovery. Now if you tell your athletes to sprint full speed without teaching them proper technique, you’ve got yourself a problem.

    I emphasize my two answers on running because I have gotten several injuries I could’ve avoided if I had proper running technique. The answer: Education.

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