Injuries in young athletes are common; unfortunately, elbow, shoulder, and knee injuries are on the verge of becoming very common, having parents foot the bill in the amount of a second mortgage. These injuries, along with others, occur during popular sports, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, swimming, track, and field, equaling year-round and merged seasons, where consistent participation in sports without adequate rest and recovery presents a higher risk.
Injuries in Youth Sports
Recently, the injury prevention rate in young athletes playing sports, looking to go pro, or participating in sports out of their coaches’ demands and parents’ obligations, has resulted in more than 3.5 million injuries yearly. When researched additional methods, more significant injuries are concussions, sprains, and strains from recreational sports (https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=sports-injury-statistics-90-P02787); unfortunately, some injuries require surgery. Also, when considering long-term sports involvement, young athletes have undergone years of intensive Training by qualified and unqualified pro sports athletes and parents. This has led to positive gains but harmful, repetitive micro-traumatic effects.
How to Develop an Injury Prevention Plan
To prevent the effects mentioned above, qualified professionals, well-read parents, and athletes should agree with and participate in an Injury Prevention Strategy Plan or template to put a band-aid on this drastic cut. This guidance will aid in reducing the athlete’s risk of injury, limiting prolonged exposure to the physical stress of Training and practicing a sport, which is an integral part of injury prevention training.
When developing an Injury Prevention program, the nature of the warm-up specific to the sport should be considered, which involves quick and twisting motions that stress joints; target specific imbalances, loosen the tightness of highly-trained muscles, and develop the flexibility to prevent the overuse of the muscles.
Strategies for Developing Injury Prevention Techniques
Additionally, the below guidelines should be used when analyzing strategies to develop injury prevention techniques.
- Proper screening. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) does not work for every athlete or their sport;
- Identifying the risk of activity and developing protective factors;
- Make a note of preseason, in-season, and post-season techniques and considerations;
- Increasing external means of temperature through passive stretching;
- Increasing temperature by working the body parts similar to activity;
- Increase muscle and tendon suppleness that stimulates blood flow and coordinates athletic movements;
- Improves nervous system function and oxygen utilization;
- Increases the dynamic, static, and PNF methods of stretching;
- Develop a training program that maximizes strength and targets specific muscle groups;
- Stay hydrated to prevent dehydration;
- Focus on balance techniques;
- Focus on education;
- Focus on sport-specific skills, which allows qualified individuals to develop well-thought plans;
- Ensure there is correct supervision for the specific activity;
- Target past injuries to prevent future reoccurrence;
- Include data collection methods;
- Include weekly reporting forms to monitor numbers of injuries along with practice and games injuries;
- Qualified athletic trainers are a priority;
- Proprioceptive Training – improving motor function of movements and increasing proprioceptive and sensorimotor information through activities such as the dead bug, bird dog, cone pick-ups, planks, bear crawls, and balanced activities.
- Maintaining a practical management load perspective by analyzing the athlete’s training, practice, and games workload that elicits a physiological response due to the external risk factors, fatigue, and fitness adaptations based on training events.
- Make sure coach, parent, trainers, and athletes are all on the same page;
- Analyze injuries by gender, and develop a plan to prevent those injuries.
How an Injury Prevention Plan Can Help You
Research has proven that an effective injury prevention plan and techniques can significantly improve performance in athletic events. An injury prevention plan should address vital mechanical stresses to the musculoskeletal system imposed by an athlete’s activities. Parents should remain knowledgeable on injury prevention techniques, but they should also be aware that when their child participates in additional sports and does not take time off, they are at an even greater risk of injury. Therefore, parents should work with qualified trainers, coaches, and their kids to use the tips above for a well-rounded injury prevention program.