"Make time for recovery now or you will be forced to make time for rehab later..."
Injuries are insane right now for youth athletes. Read all the way to the end as we have a no-brainer chance for you to help your athlete stay bulletproof.
Here is what our bodies are SUPPOSED to be like to be healthiest:
Playing sports breaks this model down. A proper training program puts the body back into alignment.
Student Athlete Injury Statistics (you can skip down to the 5 steps to avoid injury if you'd like, these numbers are depressing, I talk about them in the Youth Truth)
- Middle and High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.
- According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.
- More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.
- Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child's age.
- Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.
- Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of coaches do not have their athletes take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.
- Twenty percent of children ages 8 to 12 and 45 percent of those ages 13 to 14 will have arm pain during a single youth baseball season.
- Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.
5 Simple Steps to Stay Injury Free in 10 Minutes a Day
1) Foam Roll Every Day, SLOWLY, like Ironing a Shirt (go slow, address the "angry" spots)
10-15 minutes is all you need. It's like brushing your teeth. Easy to do and it makes a BIG difference. Fail to do it, suffer the consequences. With the amount of activity athletes are doing nowadays, foam rolling is no longer a good idea- it is a necessity.
- inner thighs (especially baseball, softball, hockey, equestrian)
- upper back
- lats (baseball, softball especially)
Here are 2 recorded videos that your athlete can do with me as I walk through the different foam rolling and stretches that are best for them. Scroll down to access these ones and feel free to enjoy the others!
2) Avoid Processed Foods, Fast Foods, Soda, and High Sugar Beverages
These foods and drinks weaken your musculoskeletal system. For many, many reasons, a diet high in fast food, processed junk, and sugary/acidic beverages puts your athlete at a higher risk of injury.
You know this, your athlete knows this, but knowledge without application = stagnation.
3) Stretch the Tight, Strengthen the Weak
- Pre-pubescent females don't need a ton of stretching because the are already flexible. They DO need strengthening and stabilizing of their joints to avoid injury.
- Females in general are more in need of strengthening and stabilizing of the hips, and mobilizing the ankles. Most ACL injuries are a result of weak hips and hamstrings. Most ankle sprains are a result of immobile ankles.
- Most males need more stretching than strengthening (although they need both for sure), yet they gravitate towards strengthening because they like it more and it "feels better".
The lesson: most people do what feels good, not necessarily what is good.
Every athlete is unique. Ask a movement and performance specialist what in particular YOUR athlete needs to stay healthy, and then make sure to stick to the plan they give you.
4) Get Screened Regularly
At least 2x/year make sure your athlete gets an IPS (injury prevention screening) from a performance specialist who knows biomechanics and corrective exercise.
We can tell A LOT about risk of injury from how an athlete moves.
Knees caving on a squat, poor ankle mobility, poor rotator cuff strength overtaken by deltoids, etc.
Bonus #5: Be CONSISTENT with all 4 things above
I put this one as it's own "Tip" because it is at the root of the injury epidemic.
Consistency is King. Your athlete does some of those things when they are motivated. The problem is, motivation dies off.
Email email@example.com to start your athlete's journey to a more resilient mind and body at PFP today.
P.S. Quite a few athletes are booking FST Stretch Sessions with Coach Erik. Right now is the time.