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  1. Youth Sports

  2. Do you know what the #1 reason children cite for their participation in a sports program?“to have fun” “Winning the game” ranks near the bottom of the list.

  3. Youth Sports • Athletic endeavors that provide children and youth with a systematic sequence of practices and contests • 39 million youth participate in nonschool sponsored programs • 7 million youth participate in interscholastic sports

  4. Youth Sports Why are so many children involved? • Trend toward earlier participation • A 4-year-old holds the age group record for running a marathon • Increase in female participation • The number of interscholastic sports for girls has increased from 14 (1971) to 41 (1999)

  5. Youth Sports Why are so many children involved? • Children are beginning to get involved in what used to be considered nontraditional sport activities • Tennis, cycling, bowling, ice hockey, cross-country skiing • Rule changes • Even the youngest child can experience success

  6. Youth Sports Why are so many children involved? • There is an increased in the number of disabled children who participate • American Wheelchair Bowling Association • Handicapped Scuba Association • National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis • National Wheelchair Softball Association • Special Olympics • United States Quad Rugby Association

  7. Youth Sports • Benefits of youth sport activities • Academic performance improvement • Physical fitness • Self-esteem enhancement • Deterrent to negative behavior

  8. Where Children Participate in Sports

  9. Most Popular Interscholastic Sports

  10. Why Children Participate in Sports • To have fun • To improve skills • To be with friends • To be part of a team • To experience excitement • To receive awards • To win • To become physically fit(Wankel & Kreisel, 1985)

  11. Why Children Participate in Sports • Wankel and Kreisel (1985) • Emphasis should be on involvement, skill development, and enjoyment of doing the skills • According to the children, winning and receiving rewards for playing are of secondary importance

  12. Why Children Participate in Sports

  13. Why Children Drop Out of Sports • Contrary to popular belief, children do not drop out of sports because of stress • More often, withdrawing from a sport is due to interpersonal problems • Pursue other leisure activities • Researchers report that a majority of “dropouts” reenter the same or new sport • Caution should be used when using the term “sport dropout”

  14. Why Children Drop Out of Sports

  15. Why Children Drop Out of Sports “I would play again if”

  16. Sport Participation: Controversies • Medical Issues • Football • Baseball • Soccer • Downhill skiing • In-line skating • Overuse injuries • Are youth sports injuries avoidable? • Nutrition • Making weight

  17. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Football • Football is classified as a contact/collision sport • Injury rate increases as players mature in age and grade level • 65% of the injuries occur in offensive players • However overall injury rate for youth football is low (~5%)

  18. Most prone injury sites Hand/wrist Knee Shoulder/humerus Most common injuries Fractures Epiphyseal fractures Sprains Contusions Strains Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Football

  19. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Baseball • Relatively safe sport for youth • Two major injuries: chest and eye injuries • Chest trauma • Commotio cordis – batter struck in chest with pitched ball; catcher struck by foul tipped ball • Occurs more often in boys under 16 yr • 2-4 deaths reported each year

  20. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Baseball • Eye injuries • Softer ball used because of the concern for commotio cordis • Fewer commotio cordis injuries result • However, physicians are concerned that a softer ball will allow more of the ball to enter the eye orbit, resulting in a greater number of eye injuries

  21. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer • Soccer is classified as a contact/collision sport • One of North America’s fastest growing sports • Studies suggest that youth soccer is a relatively safe activity • Most injuries are from person-to-person contact

  22. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer • Classic study (Nilsson & Roaas, 1978) • Examined injury rate from 1975-1977 in two tournaments (Norway Cup) • Ages: 11-18 yr • n= 25,000 youth • 2987 matches • 1343 injuries • Girls had a higher injury rate • Reason - lower skill development and training • Greater injury rate during final rounds • However, most injuries are minor

  23. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer • Heading the ball in soccer can result in • Headaches • 49% of players complained after heading a ball • Mild to severe deficits in attention • Problems with concentration • Mild to severe deficits in memory

  24. Common injury site Thigh Ankle Foot Torso Head & neck Type of injury Contusions Muscle strains Sprains Fractures Heat illness Concussions Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer

  25. Cause of injury Person-to person contact 43% Repetitive overload 20.4% Contact with ground 17.5% Contact with goal post, etc. 6.5% Effect of injury Missed one game 38.5% Missed all remaining games 19.3% Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer

  26. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Soccer • How can soccer injuries be reduced? • Closer officiating • Pregame warnings for playing tactics (take downs, hacking) • Coaching within the spirit of the rules • Protective padding for players and goal posts • Remove all sideline objects (chairs, water coolers, etc.)

  27. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Downhill Skiing • Classified as a limited contact/impact sport • Injury occurs due to contact with ground or stationary object • Contact usually occurs at a high velocity • Girls are more prone to injury than boys • Injury rate increases up to age 13 yr of age • Injury rate levels off between age 13 and 15 yr

  28. Sport Participation: Controversies ~ Downhill Skiing • Out of 3456 participants, 423 injuries reported • Most of the injuries occurred in 12 and 13 year olds • Common injuries • 51.0% ~ sprains • 11.1% ~ fractures (Garrick & Requa, 1979)

  29. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ In-line Skating • Fastest growing recreational sport in the US • Excessive speed is the main cause for injury (speeds of 30 mph are not uncommon) • 35% of all falls result in injury • 60% of all injury occurs in youth between 10 and 14 years of age

  30. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ In-line Skating • Prevention of injuries • Players should wear all protective gear available to them • Wrist guards • Elbow pads • Knee pads • Helmet • Often, children do not use protective equipment because discomfort, cost, and unsightly appearance

  31. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Overuse Injuries • Youth are specializing in sport at earlier ages which involves year round training • Overuse injuries occur as a result of placing the body under repeated stress over a long period of time • Common sites: epiphyseal plates, cartilage of the apophyses, articular cartilage, stress fractures

  32. Little Hercules Sandrak Website

  33. “Ironically, there are child labor laws in many countries that forbid stereotype work movements and excessive loading…but these same restrictions do not apply to children’s sports”

  34. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Overuse Injuries • Traction apophyses injuries • Osgood-Schlatter disease • Insertion of the patellar tendon at the tibial tubercle • Sever’s disease • Insertion of the Achilles tendon into the calcaneous • Both injuries occur because the skeleton is growing faster than soft tissue elongation

  35. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Overuse Injuries • Little League elbow • Repeated stress to the medial and lateral structures of the elbow • Rule changes are designed to protect the young pitcher • T-ball, ball is not pitched to the batter • Some leagues no longer allow the curve ball • Limit the number of innings/wk that a young player may pitch

  36. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Overuse Injuries • Significant increase in Runner’s knee injuries • Inappropriate tracking of the kneecap

  37. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Avoidable? • Make sure young athletes have been properly conditioned • Avoid overtraining • Provide qualified adult supervision • Change rules to create a safe environment • Match competitors according to body size and weight

  38. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Avoidable? • Require use of appropriate safety equipment • Do not allow an injured child to return to competition until the injury has been fully rehabilitated • Do not allow children to partake in questionable practices designed to create a competitive edge • Use coaches who are certified • National Center for Sports Safety • Online certification course

  39. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Nutrition • Child’s appetite should dictate need • The practice of fasting (wrestling) and quick weight gain (football) should be avoided • Vitamin supplements are not necessary when the young athlete is eating a balanced meal

  40. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Making Weight • Some adults have used unacceptable practices to give their child a competitive edge • Exercising in a sauna • Not letting child drink water • Not allowing child to swallow spit • Administering diuretics • Exercising in a rubber suit • Fasting

  41. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Making Weight Dangers of rapid dehydration • Cells, urine output, blood volume and sweating mechanisms do not function properly • 3% weight loss will decrease physical performance • 5% weight loss can lead to heat exhaustion • 7% weight loss can lead to hallucinations • 10% weight loss can lead to heat stroke and circulatory collapse

  42. Sport Participation: Controversies • Psychological issues • Stress • Unpleasant emotional state • Reducing competitive stress • Are young athletes being exposed to too much competitive stress?

  43. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Stress Model depicting the development of stress and potential behavioral outcomes Consequences Withdraw and try a new sport; Withdraw permanently Situation Individual views outcome as important Emotional Response Unfavorable appraisal leads to physiological and cognitive stress Appraisal Individual evaluates his/her ability to meet the demands of the situation Passer, 1982

  44. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Another Viewpoint • Youth sport participation is not the only stress encountered in the daily life of a young person • Precompetitive state anxiety • Study by Simon & Marten (1979) • 468 children in youth sports • 281 children who competed in a physical education softball game, school test, group competition in band, and band solo competition

  45. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ State Anxiety Result: note the greatest level of precompetitive state anxiety is for band solo students Children’s precompetitive state anxiety in 11 sport activities. The precompetitive state anxiety scale ranges from 10-30.

  46. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Reducing Stress • Change something about the sport so that success occurs more often than failure • T-ball uses stationary batting tee instead of a pitcher • Skill training instills confidence • More time should be spent on teaching and less time on scrimmaging

  47. Sport Participation:Controversies ~ Reducing Stress • Children who perceive themselves as competent are less threatened and perform better • Winning/losing should be placed in perspective • Child may feel that he/she has disappointed parents or coach • Help child set realistic goals

  48. Youth Sport Coaching • Who’s coaching our children? • mostly volunteers • 90% lack the necessary formal preparation to coach • 9 out of 10 volunteer coaches are men • Safe on First • An organization designed to run background checks on those who coach children in US • Sex offenders, criminal record, etc.

  49. Youth Sport Coaching • Why do people volunteer? • Involvement of coach's child in league • Personal enjoyment • Skill development of players • Character development of players • Personal challenge

  50. Youth Sport Coaching - Education • The annual turnover rate for coaches is 50% • There is a rise in the number of lawsuits directed toward youth sport coaches and organizations because of alleged negligence during practices and games