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Improving Performance and Preventing Injury in Adolescent Athletes

By: Marla Ranieri PT, DPT, OCS, Flanders, NJ Center

Your child is passionate about a sport. He or she trains long hours and dreams of making the varsity team, earning a college scholarship or even making the Olympics or a professional team.

But don’t discount how big a role personal health plays in an athlete’s success.

Athletes need check-ups and tune-ups to make sure their bodies progress appropriately and aren’t put at risk of an injury that could cost them valuable training time.

No two athletes are the same, of course. They have different body types and experience growth spurts at different times. They have varying strengths and weaknesses that coaches simply can’t be expected to address in a team setting.

A plan of action addressing areas of muscular weakness, flexibility/mobility deficits, postural imbalances, nutritional deficits, etc., can help keep children healthy and able to practice at their highest levels.

We have created Sport Specific Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement Assessments. To develop these assessments, we tapped teams of distinguished physical therapists who were high-level collegiate/semi-professional athletes.

The full-body assessment includes mental health, nutrition, training patterns, posture, range of motion, mobility, flexibility, strength and sport-specific movement patterns. The goal is to identify weaknesses and at-risk areas and provide corrective exercises and appropriate referrals to address injuries before they start.

These assessments should be treated just like other preventative care appointments, i.e. a physical, dental check-up or visit to a gynecologist.

Athletes put their bodies under high loads and pressures to perform high-level skills with increasing velocity, speed and power. For them to succeed, first it is important to make sure that all the proper building blocks are in place.

Call a local outpatient physical therapy center to schedule your child for a Sport Specific Injury Prevention Assessment.

Adolescent Athlete Injury Prevention - Drayer Physical Therapy

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