The most import tip is to encourage children to maintain a good base of fitness throughout the year and avoid an abrupt start to a new routine during sports seasons. Kids should be encouraged to exercise for fun and fitness all year long and not just to win during sports season.
The number of young athletes developing overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, is growing dramatically . Experts blame sports specialization and overtraining as the main reasons.
Exercise, practise and games should always include warm-up and cool-down, flexibility exercises, and supervision by a coach or trainer during workouts.
Weight training can be done with a qualified instructor and supervision. Kid's coaches should set guidelines for training intensity, length and skill drills.
It's also helpful if parents are supportive, positive but avoid putting too much emphasis on winning.
Parents should also refer to this Parent's Checklist for Spring Sports which is full of tips and reminders for maintaiing a safe exercise environment for child athletes.
Last Review Date: June, 2006