Take a Break – your child probably needs one too!
When your 7 or 8 years old season ends, give your child a break from the game. Kids might be playing an entire year. Even if you child doesn’t want one, I suggest he/she takes one.
Muscles need to relax
Let his or her muscles relax. This could be the time to try something else and use different muscles groups. To often kids are asked to continue training all year around, not even the pro’s train all year, so why ask 7 or 8 year olds to do so. After all these little guys and girls are still growing and constantly running & doing the same techniques in a certain sport (which only concentrates on some types of movement) cannot always be good for the child. Generally a child will be using the left or right side, depending on what foot they kick with (Football is a very uncoordinated sport).
Sometimes taking a break from a certain sport like soccer and trying something new for a month or so, will help with a players coordination and balance. They might just want to take a break altogether and run around after friends, climb walls and play chasing. They may start swimming or cycling with all this lovely weather we are getting.
Using other parts of the body and moving in different directions or even just relaxing can be good for your child. Lots of young players are experiencing injuries that pro’s usually get and this has a lot to do with to much too soon and never ending seasons with training all year around.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2006 there were more than 186,000 soccer related injuries with 80% of those under the age of 24.
Texas Health Resources Fort Worth physical therapist Kiley Cohen said she sees a lot of soccer related injuries–some incredibly young. “I’ve seen them in the past as young as 12 and 13 years old that have torn ACL’S.”
Texas Health Resources Dr. Damond Blueitt said soccer can take a toll on feet ankles and knees–not to mention the occasional concussion–but most injuries are the product of simply playing too much soccer.
“Most of the soccer injuries are the overuse injuries because a lot of these young athletes play soccer all year around and never really take a break so they get some overuse injuries,” Dr. Blueitt said. A girl called Dennise is lucky–she’s never been hurt before even tough she played without a break for six years. “A season was over on Friday and the next Friday another season will begin,” Dennise said.
For now Dennise will have to get her kicks by watching the soccer on TV–after all it’s the sport she’s loved since she was six years old. “It’s amazing seeing all those players. I kind of get teary eyed myself,” Denise said. “I’m going to be back in January.”
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