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An article in the San Jose Mercury News this morning caught my attention "No pain, no gain taken literally by teen athletes as injuries rise"
As young athletes are being pushed harder to perform better in specialized sporting events, the prevalence of potentially debilitating overuse injuries is increasing at a near epidemic rate.
This is a significant problem that requires intervention from all parties involved, coaches, athletes, physicians and parents.
Most coaches think the only way to improve an athletes performance is to do more repetitions, more work… The attitude "practice makes perfect" still prevails.
Parents blindly let the coaches control the child’s training, as that was likely the way they were coached. Physicians prescribe treatment for the injury, but rarely help the athlete address the cause of the injury.
This all leaves the athlete in fear of losing ground in the competitive landscape, perpetuating the cycle.
The attitude needs to change. Replacing the outdated methodology of "hard work and repetition" to one of "healthy individualized development" will result in athletes that perform better and more consistently over the long term.
Coaches need to utilize methods for developing athletic skill with attention on; correct biomechanics, nervous system development, strength development and adequate recovery as pertaining to the sport, integrated with outside lifestyle demands of the athlete.
It’s not an easy shift, but we have trusted the development, health and competitive success of our youth to coaches that haven’t had the opportunity to build the skills necessary to perform efficiently in today’s environment.
If we expect more of our coaches and encourage the use of new tools and techniques that may contradict our old world "common knowledge" beliefs, we can influence a rapid, significant improvement in the overall quality of youth athletics.
Young athletes are capable of performing at an elite level, with fewer incidents of injury when provided a truly integrated approach to training.default
Here's a principle you can live your life by. Think about it.