The Importance of Teaching Young Athletes About Overuse Injuries

summer soccer camps for kids

With the warm weather finally here, it’s time to start thinking summer soccer camps. Soccer camps are not only a great way to get in shape and prepare for the upcoming fall season, but they’re also a great option for childrens summer fun. With that being said, any sport comes with the risk of injury. Overuse injuries are commonly seen in young athletes, particularly those who play sports like soccer. So in order to help your young athlete protect themselves from overuse injuries this summer, this article is going to provide a brief overview or causes, types, and treatment of overuse injuries.

First off, what is an overuse injury? An overuse injury occurs when a muscle, joint, or tendon is used too much without the necessary rest or used in the same motion repetitively. When this occurs, someone may experience significant pain in the affected area.

When a young athlete plays the same sport all year long, between fall youth soccer leagues, off-season training, and summer soccer programs, they’re using the same muscles over and over again. Because of this, the muscles don’t always have the time they need to rest and repair. This lack of recovery time can lead to overuse injuries and can cause a player extreme pain.

In soccer, shin splints, patellar tendonitis, and Achilles tendinitis are some of the most common overuse injuries. Because soccer is mainly played with the lower extremities, soccer players may experience pain in their calves, knees, and ankles. While some pain may just be sore muscles from being out of practices, significant pain that does not improve after a few days should be looked at by a doctor because it may be something more serious, like a stress fracture.

Fortunately, overuse injuries are preventable. To prevent any sort of injury, players should always warm up before training, practice or games. Even if they’re just kicking a ball around for some easy childrens summer fun, warming up is key to preventing injury. Players should warm up before playing with five to 10 minutes of stretching and light aerobic activity. In doing this, their muscles will be warmed up and less prone to injury. Additionally, players should complete cross-training whenever possible. Because soccer focuses on a few key parts of the body, working out other parts that aren’t often used not only strengthens those body parts but gives the others time to rest. Overall, players should ensure they’re giving their bodies the rest they need.

Overuse injuries are far too common, especially among young soccer players. So it’s important for coaches and parents to ensure their players are aware of how to properly warm up and prevent these injuries. While it’s just some light playing as children’s summer fun or a tournament for their youth league, it’s important for players to know how to prevent overuse injuries and give their bodies time to recover.