According to an article from the July 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine, practice makes perfect. But kids who spend too much time training can be at risk for overuse injuries such as torn tendons and stress fractures. Common in adults, these are now showing up in children. "Parents and coaches are pushing kids at an earlier age, hoping they'll can become star athletes," says Stephen Rice, M.D., a pediatric sports medicine physician at Jersey Shore University Medical Center who coauthored recent guidelines for young baseball and softball players. "Reduce your athlete's chances of getting hurt by watching out for:
1. Pushy coaches - Kids can have trouble telling authority figures they're being worked too hard. Check that your child isn't exhausted post-practice, losing motivation or experiencing lasting soreness.
2. Too many teams - Let your child's coaches know about any other teams your child is on so they can adjust the workout accordingly, like having the child throw fewer pitches or swim fewer laps.
3. Sports camps - Kids in summer programs my drill five to eight hours a day. This huge increase in activity doesn't allow them to slowly condition their muscles. Ask the camp for a training schedule so your child can gradually ramp up the activity three weeks in advance.
4. Ignored injuries - Once pain gets intense, recovery takes longer. Better for your child to rest before an injury starts to affect their performance instead of paying through it. Explain to your kid the importance of telling the coach about pain and scaling back until they feel better.