Spring youth leagues canceled due to coronavirus - experts say your kids may need the break

Physical therapists say use this time to assess whether young athletes are training too much

Megan Lynch
April 01, 2020 - 8:36 am

St. Louis, MO (KMOX) - Youth sports programs are on hold during COVID-19 containment measures.  Some parents and young athletes may be worried that an extended gap in training might impact their future playing career.  Experts say taking a break now may actually be the best thing.

Chuck Thigpen with ATI Physical Therapy says he sees too many kids dealing with repetitive use injuries from overtraining.  Thigpen says this pause from structured sports is a great opportunity to stop and assess the amount and type of activity your kids are involved in.   

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"How many months per year is my child playing a specific sport?  And how many hours per week are my child playing?," Thigpen says. "Because we know that kids who play a single sport more than 8 months per year or participate in a single sport more hours than their age.  So let's use a 7-year-old.  They shouldn't do more than 7 hours of training in a single sport a week, if they do, they're at increased risk of injury."

Thigpen says take this time, during shelter-at-home, to let your kids bike and run and work on their flexibility and strength -- not necessarily on sport-specific training.


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