Posted: November 14, 2018 | Author: Jeff Biehl, Parisi Speed School Houston Director

Organized sports are a great way of getting physical activity, but they also carry a risk of injury. In the last two decades, sports specialization and the rise in digital entertainment has become a phenomenon leading to many more injuries. Strains and accidental injuries will occur. However, many sports injuries can be prevented with proper training and conditioning.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participation in organized sports is on the rise. Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age. Occasional bumps and bruises are expected when kids play sports, but for more than 1.35 million children last year a sports-related injury was severe enough to send them to a hospital emergency rooms.

Sprains and strains, fractures, contusions, abrasions and concussions top the list of sports-related ER diagnoses for kids ages 6 to 19—at a cost of more than $935 million each year, according to a report out Tuesday from the non-profit advocacy group Safe Kids Worldwide.

A common thread in injuries afflicting today’s youth is playing year-round sports and not working on skills needed to prevent injuries. Year-round exercise is beneficial. When done purposefully, it can contribute to improved injury prevention. Alternative approaches would be focusing on playing 1–2 different sports with some “time off” in-between sports. However, time off is not exactly what it sounds like. Time off is composed of working on skills to improve athleticism. Skills such as the ability to accelerate, decelerate, Jump, land, stop and reaccelerate are crucial to safe speed and injury prevention. Having the ability to run at top end speed repetitively without getting completely exhausted is another important piece improving athleticism.

In order to be able to achieve these important athletic skills there needs to be some time spent working on them. Having a qualified professional educated in improving athleticism is highly recommended. We recommend having a qualified athletic coach who will first evaluate and discover what the needs are to create a better athlete. A better athlete is defined as one with the proper flexibility, strength, endurance, coordination, and power. Videoing an athlete in a 10- and 20-yard dash is an easy way to find what running techniques can be worked on to improve running ability. The same holds true when being tested in the broad and vertical jump. Watching how an athlete jumps and, more importantly lands, is critical. The landing position is of importance because of the vulnerability of knees and lower back during take-off and landing. Knees caving-in during the takeoff and landing can signal a misalignment; a potential sign of weak glute and hip muscles, lack of flexibility and maybe a sign of past or potential future injury. Weak gluteus’ and hips are very often found in young athletes and can be easily fixed with the right strengthening exercises. The 20-yard pro agility shuttle run is a great way to assess change of direction ability. Change of direction movement often causes injury in the ankle and knee areas. In sporting events, change of direction requires rapid acceleration, the strength for a controlled deceleration, and another controlled acceleration. To decrease the risk of injury with a change of direction, proper technique is needed as well as strengthening, conditioning and elasticity of the muscle groups. 

At the Parisi Speed School in Houston we offer a Complimentary Evaluation to show what areas can be improved for athletic movement for ages 7 to 18-year old.

Parisi Boot Camp is offered as a Yorkshire Academy afterschool program and is best suited for youth 5 to 8-year old. For more information, please email us macspeedschool@comcast.net.