Youth sports is really big business. It is estimated that up to 35 million kids between the ages of 5-18 are playing organized sports today and the trend continues towards kids beginning at even earlier ages.
67 percent of boys and 47 percent of girls are already playing on organized sport teams by age six.
For young athletes, regular participation in youth sports can provide a combination of health and fitness related benefits, as well as an opportunity to learn about discipline, commitment, setting and achieving goals, teamwork, and fair play.
The advantages can even extend to enhanced academic achievement. Sports can (and should) be a lot of fun too! But unfortunately, for both boys and girls, playing long and hard can often result in sustaining an injury. This becomes a reality of the game and is an unexpected associated cost.
From football to soccer, basketball to baseball, gymnastics to cheerleading, young athletes are experiencing sport related injuries in alarming numbers.
Why are kids getting injured so often?
What is being done to reverse this trend?
How can we help kids to enjoy play while keeping it safe?
More than 3.5 million children under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries annually–and according to the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention CDC) more than half of all sports injuries are preventable.
Kids are not always receiving proper training and coaching. Mainly supported by volunteers and parents, only one of every five coaches with youth teams under age 14, say they have been trained in effective motivational techniques. Just one of every three are trained in specific skills and tactics in the primary sport that they coach.
While there is no single “path to the podium”, success is ultimately defined by achild’s continued participation in, and enjoyment from, a chosen sport or other healthy activity. For many kids, the physical, emotional, and motor skill capacities to justify specializing in a single sport are not fully developed until late adolescence.
The National Youth Sports Health Safety Institute is becoming the recognized leadership and advocacy for advancing and disseminating the latest research and evidence-based education, recommendations and policies to enhance the experience, development, health and safety for youth in sports.
Numerous Olympians and other successful athletes recognize the importance of parental encouragement (not pressure) to help their child succeed. Parents should be aware of the NYSHSI Parent Pledge and consistently emphasize their unwavering and unconditional support and love for watching their children play the game.
Dr. Michael Bergeron says, “Parents, coaches and other responsible influential adults involved in youth sports must have a realistic perspective and honest discussions with their youth athletes and demonstrate consistent support for staying healthy and enjoying playing their sport in an ethical way.”
Dr. Bergeron of the National Youth Sports Health Safety Institute joins us LIVE at BEYONDtheCheers on blogtalkradio on Wednesday, June 25th at 7PM EST. You can also listen each Friday at NOON to our repeat broadcast on AMFM247. Dial-in TOLL FREE 1-877-357-2448 in Canada and United States to ask a question, or email in advance. Listen to any BtC episode at any time → via iTunes Radio on any iPhone, iPad or on iTunes.
This Week’s T3 TRIVIA WINNER – Take your child to a Major League Baseball game: You get to choose the game!
Q1. Who does Dr. Michael Bergeron work for?
Q2: What is the average age that kids are beginning to play organized sports?
Q3: How many kids under age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports related injuries?