Parents and coaches of young athletes generally have a sense that injuries happen more frequently in the teenage years than they did when the players were younger. A recently published scientific study following young male soccer players at an elite Dutch soccer academy shows that the injury risk is quite high.
In this well conducted study the researchers found a substantially higher injury burden in the U16 (48%), U15 (28%), and U17 (21%) age groups compared to the mean. The six months following peak height velocity were identified as the riskiest time period. Coaches of male players in these age groups should pay particular attention to training load, early intervention for injury, and proper monitoring of return to play.