Now that the summer off season has started, many youth athletes are starting their summer packets or training routines to prepare for their next season. There have been numerous arguments coming out about how choosing one sport at a young age can actually hinder an athlete’s growth, not help it. The tolls taken on a young athlete from specializing too early is not only physical, but can have mental manifestations as well.
*Contact us today to meet with a CT Certified Trainer*
While many athletes and parents believe that they need to focus on one sport in order to reach their full potential and get a scholarship or whatever their athletic aspirations may be, this puts them at risk for repetitive movement or stress injuries. Every sport requires something different out of their athletes and by performing that same game over and over, your body is mainly recruiting the same groups of muscles and ligaments. Add to that the several teams that they are playing on across multiple seasons throughout the year, and they are putting themselves in danger of stress fractures and other serious injuries. This is a risk especially in youth players since they are still growing. Add on top of that the constant stress to the connective tissue and joints, and you’re making them vulnerable to injury and over training. Research done at the University of Wisconsin discovered that these athletes were twice as likely to report previously getting a lower body injury than those who played multiple sports. This is not to say that you can’t have a main sport or not practice aspects of one particular sport year round, but to diversify them in as many activities as they are interested in to keep them active and exposed to all different movements.
Along with physical repercussions comes the mental aspect. Athletes are put under more and more pressure as they get older coming from all different sources, including themselves and their desire to succeed. Over the years this takes its toll on them when the focus is on this one skill all year round and can cause kids to experience burnout and stop playing the sport all together because its lacking the enjoyment they once found in it, which can even lead to a depression.
Weight training is a great way to still work on skills and muscles necessary in sport while diversifying their movement and activity. Athletes are able to work on speed and agility with a Certified Youth Personal Trainer in CT while building strength and endurance which will help them regardless of sport or activity and is a great outlet to still be active and competitive during the off season.