This research article, titled 'Is my kid doing too much sport?' – How to reduce the risk of overtraining syndrome and overuse injury in young athletes (PDF), defines overuse injuries and overtraining syndrome and looks at how prevalent these both are in youth athletes today.
It details the signs and symptoms to look out for and how to reduce the risk or overuse injury and overtraining syndrome in young athletes.
Authors: Rhodri S Lloyd and Paul Read
Participation in sport offers many benefits to children and adolescents. However, children who are deemed to possess ‘talent’ for a particular sport are often encouraged to specialise in a single sport by coaches and parents from early childhood.
Often, aspiring young athletes who are attempting to make selection for regional or national squads, or who are seeking to secure professional contracts, are encouraged to start highly intensive, sport-specific training for a single sport from a young age.
Additionally, these young athletes are often required to play in a number of high-level competitions in a bid to ‘overtake’ their peers.
Unfortunately, data is now emerging that highlights the risks associated with this approach, whereby a focus on high levels of training for a single sport can lead to an increased risk of overuse injury, overtraining and even burnout.