Youth Activity Database

Posted by Golden on August 14th, 2010

In all sports programs, fitness and skill has to balanced with the need to avoid overtraining ? which happens when the athlete is required to much physically, mentally or both. Coaches need to be sensitive to changes in performance and attitude that suggests their athletes are being pushed too hard. Such changes maybe precursors of physical injury.


?Slower times in distance sports running, cycling and swimming.

?Deterioration in execution of sport plays or routines such as those in figure skating and gymnastics.

?Decreased ability to achieve training goals.

?Lack of motivation to practice.

?Irritability and unwillingness to cooperate with teammates.

Unfortunately when a coach is confronted with signs of over training, the tendency is to push the athlete harder. But if over training is the culprit, any increase in training will only worsen the situation.

Too much training may eventually lead to over use injuries in which actual damage to the bone and soft tissues occurs because the body was not given time to recover from the repetitive physical demands placed on it by sport activity. This raises any important question: how much is too much? Unfortunately not a great deal of hard data is available on this subject. In the absence of data obtained in clinical studies, there is need to formulate our guidelines based on observations from coaches and sports scientists obtained over the years.


As a general rule young athlete should not train for more than 18 ? 20 hours a week. If a child is engaged in elite competition there may be pressure to train for longer ? especially in the lead up to a special event. Any time a child trains for more than this recommended length of time a qualified sports doctor, with expertise in young athletes must monitor him or her.  This is to make sure abnormalities in growth do not occur. Any joint pain lasting for more than two weeks is enough justification for a visit to the sports doctor. It is important to ensure restrictions against excessive sports activity are not exceeded.

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Joined: August 9th, 2010
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