The AAP's Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness notes that kids and teens are increasingly involved in sports, and some young athletes are overdoing it
Training intensely can lead to injury and burnout. So to keep young athletes in the game, the AAP offers four practical tips for young athletes and their parents, doctors, and coaches.
The tips, published in the June edition of the journal Pediatrics, are as follows:
After all, if an athlete pushes himself or herself too far, he or she may end up on the sidelines with an injury that lasts for weeks or months.
The council also offers advice on marathons and triathlons, athletes who play the same sport on more that one team, and athletes who play several different sports.
The council states that endurance events such as marathons and triathlons may be fine for young athletes, as long as the events are modified to be age appropriate, and the athlete is healthy and enjoys the activity. Young athletes may be at increased risk of injury or burnout if they play
the same sport on multiple teams or if they don't take a break from athletics during the year, the council warns.
Athletes who play several sports may be less likely to injure themselves if their sports emphasize different parts of the body. For instance, a golfer who is on the track team challenges different muscles in those two sports. But a swimmer who plays baseball emphasizes the arms and upper body in both sports.
Weekend-long tournaments may also bring injury, with athletes playing repeatedly in a few days, the council members warn.
Is your teen athlete burned out? What do you do to help him or her recharge? Join the talk on our Parenting: Preteens and Teens message board.
By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
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