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Prevention of Sports Injury: A Parent’s Guide

  • Category: Articles by Clinicians
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Michele Rebozzi, PT, DPT, OCS; Faith Rea, PT, DPT, OCS; Steven Bast, MD
Prevention of Sports Injury: A Parent’s Guide

Young athletes view summer as a great time to train. It’s the season to get “the edge” on the competitor—whether it’s neighborhood runs, weight training, skills workouts, pick-up games, or summer leagues, just to name a few.

Now, athletes have access to even more training opportunities and resources to give themselves the edge. However, if some is good, more is not always better! With more options comes added risk if you don’t understand how to prevent injury. Today, healthcare professionals encounter increased injury rate and burnout among younger athletes, who are constantly being pushed to new limits. Often, the core of the problem is overuse and overtraining, combined with lack of rest.

If you are the parent of a young athlete looking to enhance their summer training regimen, here are signs to watch for to help them avoid sports injury:

  • Fatigue: Most injuries occur when the athlete is simply fatigued, physically and mentally! If your athlete is sleeping more, having difficulty sleeping, or seems sluggish, they most likely need rest. Encourage them to slow down and focus on getting the right amount of sleep. For teens, this means 8-10 hours nightly. More games played will not translate to better performance. Fatigued muscles are able to absorb less energy before reaching the degree of stretch that causes injuries.
  • Sore muscles/Body aches: Sore muscles and joints may be a sign of overtraining. Consider dialing back the intensity or frequency of your workouts in the short-term. The day after a hard workout, try light, restorative exercise such as yoga, stay hydrated, and get good rest. Training must include a recovery and regeneration phase.
  • Headaches: Excessive or intense headaches may indicate dehydration. Remember, poor nutrition can lead to injury. Encourage your athlete to drink plenty of water and eat balanced meals daily.
  • Burnout: If your athlete is losing interest in a sport they once loved, it may be time to give them a break and just let them enjoy being a kid!

If done with a thoughtful regimen that factors in rest, nutrition, and mental health, summer training is a great way to gain a competitive edge. But we all need time for our body to recover and regenerate—especially growing kids!

Questions about sports injury prevention or training? The Coliseum at Casa Colina can help. We offer free sports injury screenings Monday evenings in Pomona, with all the resources you need to get you back in the game and keep you there. Call 909/596-7733, ext. 3500 or visit for details.