Jun 5th, 2019
Author: Stacy McNaught
Our Youth Programs are inspired through the very best knowledge and resources that the world has to offer, but more importantly, they are specific to Youth training and ALWAYS at the forefront of that is “What is best for the kids”.
ACC has released the finding of a comprehensive report on the worrying increase in injuries in our youth…
“A dramatic rise in the number of kids being injured playing organised sports has sparked warnings for parents to limit how much sport their kids participate in each week.
Experts fear kids are doing too much high-intensity sport at too young an age, causing stress and creating a spike in injuries.
Children under 10 years old suffered 63 per cent more sports-related injuries between 2008 and 2017, while those aged 10-14 were also hurt 60 per cent more.
The statistics included those playing rugby union, soccer, netball, basketball, rugby league, gymnastics and touch rugby.”
At CFWS we have long believed that early sports specialisation was not “what is best for the kids” with respect to their long term human and athletic development. It is not only the specialisation at an early age that is causing the injuries either.
“Kids were either putting themselves at risk of injury by not doing enough exercise to be properly conditioned for the activity, or were playing in higher levels of sport and training but not having enough breaks”
“Too much high-intensity training reduces the energy available for growth and development. This can affect not only peak bone mass and the onset of puberty but a number of other important body systems which can have lifelong consequences for injury and physical and mental illness.”
A couple of points that show the value of a broad and inclusive strength and conditioning program that is specifically designed for youth and run by coaches trained and qualified in youth strength and conditioning. A saying that we often use is, “you cannot express what you do not possess”… (it is not one of our direct quotes, but we are unsure of where to attribute it to).
Kids are often tasked, through their respective sports, to have their body engage in some very high-level athletic movements – WITHOUT specifically being prepared for them first. They are expected to do this while they are in the peak of their physical growth cycles. The hope of many sport-specific coaches is that the kids develop the skills through the repetition of the sports practice. Rarely, however, do the coaches specifically train the kids for strength, recovery, mobility and the various other modalities that are required to ensure safe long term athletic development for the kids. Rather they focus on the sport-specific skills, there is often no time for the foundations of strength and condition within their allocated training time.
This is not for a second suggesting that kids shouldn’t be involved in sports, more just highlighting the need for a more focussed approach to their long term development and to minimise sport-specific training at too early and age. Play many sports, have fun, develop a broad and inclusive base first and then utilise that sound base to really excel later for a more enduring and ultimately more successful sporting experience.
Read the full article HERE