What makes kids drop out of sports, and equally importantly, what can we do to keep kids playing? It’s been commonly believed that boys play for the “competitive” aspects of team sports and girls play for the “social” aspects of sports. However, a recently published study of young soccer players shows that there are many similarities motivating kids to play sports: both girls and boys place a heavy emphasis on “fun”.
Stress fractures in adolescent athletes are unfortunately fairly common. Here’s an interesting recently published scientific study that aims to identify risk factors for stress fractures in adolescent athletes. The authors found several characteristics associated with stress fracture risk: lower than normal body mass index, four weeks or more history of shin splints, minimal involvement in weight training, decreased amount of sleep, daily stress, and low dairy intake.
During the recent US Club Soccer webinar I participated in, I was asked this question by the host:
“What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health?”
The question above was specific to soccer but the point I make here is applicable to all sports. By far and away the area where we can have the greatest impact with a sport that’s in-season is in monitoring for overuse injuries.