More than 60 million children participate in organized sports in the United States. 75% of those children even play more than just one sport. The participation of children in organized sports is increasingly growing rapidly. This is great considering how obesity was also on the rise in the United States. There are some things that should be kept in mind since the rise of children in youth sports is increasing greatly.
Overscheduling has always been an issue for youth sports. This is because children have to go to schools and then some might even go for tuitions. When they play sports in such a situation, it becomes too hard for them to maintain their energy level. And when sports events occur, it becomes even more overwhelming for both the children as well as the parent. This doesn’t seem right. Children should have enough time to socialize with their friends, do school work, get some free time, and of course, adequate sleep. Getting less sleep puts children in danger of overuse injuries.
Parents should always keep an eye on their children, not overworking. Lack of sleep and repetitive damage over time without healing causes overuse injuries. Children are the most susceptible to overuse injuries. There are several reasons for this. One of the main reasons is the children having growing bones. Growing bones mean that some may be weaker in certain places and at more risk for injuries. Children’s muscles are also often inflexible.
Further, since children are still learning to play different sports, they might butcher a technique and do it completely wrong and injure themselves. To avoid overuse injuries in sports, kids must learn to warm themselves up before playing. Teach them how to stretch their muscles in the warm-up. If a child feels pain during warm-up or while playing, this should not be ignored. Do not consider pain to be expected for children. Especially the pain that gets worse over time affects daily activities outside sport and causes the child to take breaks during the activity. If someone sees a child with these symptoms, they should immediately take care of the child and treat them.
Burnout is the drastic physical or mental change that occurs in a competitive athlete due to a lot of stress or a lot of exercise without any rest. There are a lot of symptoms of someone going through burnout. These symptoms include poor sleep, weight loss, sore muscles, depression, not having fun when playing sports, and exhaustion. A lot of kids stop playing organized sports after the age of 13 for a variety of reasons. A lot of kids’ reasoning behind this is because they stop having fun and want to do something else with their friends. Change of interests with the passage of time is understandable for kids. However, a lot of kids also leave organized sports after being overwhelmed by their parents and being pressured by the coaches. Practising and playing too much just because of the pressure to win is too much for children to handle, and so they lose their interest in organic sports and decide to quit by the age of 13.
To solve all of these issues, parents should take note of a few things. Firstly, let the kids have a free play if they are preschoolers. Teach them the basics of sports in a fun way. Teach them how to run, jump, kick, throw, and catch. Do not let kids at this age become even slightly competitive. Just let them have fun. As kids get a little older, you can let them practice for as many hours as their age per week. Finally, let your kids know about different types of sports and let them choose the ones they like. They can play multiple sports until they grow old enough to choose one by themselves to specialize in. And one last thing before going, do not put any pressure on your children.