The benefits of youth sports
Amateur sports used to mean varsity and JV teams in high school and college, but today more than thirty million kids play on a wide range of recreational and competitive or select teams at younger and younger ages. Parents want to encourage safe sports for their children, both on the field and off. Whether your athlete is a five-year-old beginner or the star of a varsity team, The Young Athlete provides guidance on everything from working with the coach to preventing and treating sports-related injuries. Jordan D. Metzl, M.D., co-founder and medical director of The Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes and one of America's premier pediatric sports physicians, explains: * How to keep your child athlete healthy in mind and body * How to deal with the coach and other parents and help your child handle team pressure * How to recognize and prevent injuries such as fractures, ligament tears, and repetitive stress injuries * How to recognize when your child is doing "too much"
* How to judge the impact of daily physical practice on growing bodies The Young Athlete provides two kinds of guidelines. First, it helps both you and your child keep a sensible perspective on the benefits of organized sports and avoid a "win at all costs" mentality. Through personal advice and anecdotes from his medical practice, Dr. Metzl, a marathon runner, Ironman triathelete, and former college soccer player, helps parents evaluate real-life situations and decisions. He addresses the concerns of parents who have no experience in sports but want to encourage their children to achieve their utmost potential. Second, this book focuses on strategies that can help prevent injuries and promote health. Dr. Metzl tells you how to recognize the most common injuries and determine their degree of seriousness. He also discusses the nutritional needs of the developing athlete and the benefits of strength and preventive conditioning before and during the season. The Young Athlete is a comprehensive guide that will enable your young athlete to be the best that he or she can be, both on and off the field. Chapter 1
MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO (A SOUND MIND IN A SOUND BODY)
Sports are for fun, but they also offer benefits and lessons that carry over into all aspects of life.
When kids are asked why they play sports, here's what they say: * To have fun
* To improve their skills
* To learn new skills
* To be with their friends
* To make new friends
* To succeed or win
* To become physically fit
Kids usually get the benefits they seek from sports and more. Kids need attention and respect (in that order), but they have few ways to get them. What is unique about sports is that they offer kids an arena where they can earn attention and respect by exerting their natural abilities. Kids are good at sports because sports are essentially about speed, strength, coordination, vision, creativity, and responsiveness-the necessary physical attributes are the attributes of youth. Given that athletics involves all aspects of the human being, it is not surprising that participants benefit in all of the areas they mention. According to researchers at the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, kids who participate in organized sports do better in school, have better interpersonal skills, are more team oriented, and are generally healthier. Participation in sports provides opportunities for leadership and socialization, as well as the development of skills for handling success and failure. Moreover, when playing games, children learn how rules work. They see how groups need rules to keep order, that the individual must accept the rules for the good of the group, that rules entail a consideration of the rights of others. They also learn about competition, but within a restricted and safe system where the consequences of losing are minimized. Benefits for girls...
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