Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Sensible Approach To Youth Sports

I don't summarily discount email newsletters (as some readers might), especially when I sense I can learn from them.  So, while my inbox might get slightly crowded, with 50 to 75 new arrivals per day, I pare that list carefully, maybe even very, very carefully.

And that brings me to a long time newsletter I've been receiving for a few years now, from another Bridgewater State alum, and a fellow Phys Ed guy.  Ya, Jason Price is a good man, and he runs Athletes Equation, between Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.  

Most recently I see that his facility is running programs for young athletes, and I believe that's a good thing.  I mean, it isn't every gym that's able to deal with the younger ones, although some may think they can.  (Believe it or not, not all training facilities are run by folks with Physical Education backgrounds, or guys and gals who know the real science of training -- any age group.)

Anyway, Jason's latest newsletter started by citing some old (2005) stats he'd stumbled across while going through some old Grad School notes.  And, it's those stats I wanted to first share with my Diary readers... 

  • 3 million children under the age of 14 get injured and lose playing time annually playing sports
  • 12 million athletes between the age of 5 and 22 will suffer a sports related injury this year
  • Over 20 million days of school will be lost because of a sports injury
  • 8,000 children are treated daily in the ER for a sports related injury
  • $33 Billion is spent annually in health care costs in the US alone for sports related injures

As Jason added after that, "Scary stuff."  And, he continued, "With my young daughters beginning to play sports, I know I can't protect them from injury.  However, my education helps me know that there are techniques that can help reduce their risk of injury."  Ya, what his background taught him is that there are ways to at least reduce their chances of injury.

And, with that, he noted that some of those techniques are:
  • Making sure they have plenty of recovery time (to include sleep and days off, the latter which old Coach Chic would suggest many parents and youth coaches fail to emphasize)
  • Proper nutrition
  • Staying hydrated
  • Being active and playing multiple sports and taking time away from sports
  • Becoming strong and mobile by utilizing strength and conditioning 

Lastly, since Jason's newsletter sat in my inbox for awhile, I'm not sure if the program he was describing has started already, or has openings for new members.  My guess, however, is that there's still time to get a youngster from that area enrolled in something that will help him or her prepare better for the sport challenges ahead.

So, if you're close to the RI/MA border, you might touch base with Jason Price sometime soon -- or maybe even later for the spring months.  And, for those further away, I'd suggest following the advice he's already provided above; it's good stuff.