It's National Youth Sports Specialization Awareness Week

Thursday, October 24th, 2019 4:50pm

By Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, news release

Beacon Orthopaedics is raising awareness and providing practical tips for young athletes, parents and coaches to keep kids safe and healthy longer.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) annually designates the third full week in October has “National Youth Sports Specialization Awareness Week”. This widely respected professional organization seeks to raise awareness and provide practical tips for young athletes, parents and coaches to keep kids safe and healthy longer. Those tips include:

1. Delay specializing in a single sport for as long as possible: Sport specialization is often described as participating and/or training for a single sport year-round. Adolescent and young athletes should strive to participate, or sample, a variety of sports. This recommendation supports general physical fitness, athleticism and reduces injury risk in athletes.

2. One team at a time: Adolescent and young athletes should participate in one organized sport per season. Many adolescent and young athletes participate or train year-round in a single sport, while simultaneously competing in other organized sports. Total volume of organized sport participation per season is an important risk factor for injury.

3. Less than eight months per year: Adolescent and young athletes should not play a single sport more than eight months per year.

4. No more hours/week than age in years: Adolescent and young athletes should not participate in organized sport and/or activity more hours per week than their age (i.e., a 12-year-old athlete should not participate in more than 12 hours per week of organized sport).

5. Two days of rest per week: Adolescent and young athletes should have a minimum of two days off per week from organized training and competition. Athletes should not participate in other organized team sports, competitions and/or training on rest and recovery days.

6. Rest and recovery time from organized sport participation: Adolescent and young athletes should spend time away from organized sport and/or activity at the end of each competitive season. This allows for both physical and mental recovery, promotes health and well-being and minimizes injury risk and burnout/dropout.

“Sports played too much – without adequate rest -- can have serious rippling consequences,” said Dr. David Argo from Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, who leads the teams of licensed onsite athletic trainers provided by Beacon at several southeastern Indiana high schools, including Lawrenceburg and East Central. “Scheduling purposeful rest is important to avoid injuries, burnout or quitting being active altogether,” Argo continued. "Sports can be an important and fun part of a child’s life – they make friends, learn lifelong skills and stay active. However, “moderation is key,” said Argo. “As is giving them enough time to rest if they do get hurt.”

If you have questions about your student’s current athletic workload, please contact the sports medicine professionals at Beacon. Appointments are available at Beacon West, Lawrenceburg and Batesville, along with Saturday morning injury clinics and urgent care at Erlanger and Summit Woods. Go to www.beaconortho.com or call 513-354-3700 for an appointment today!

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