LESSONS FROM THE FIELD
CELEBRATING THE BEGINNING OF THE SPRING SPORTS SEASON
As the parents of three boys, Angela and I decided to involve our sons in sports for a variety of reasons. In addition to giving them a safe space to release some energy, sports and youth athletics programs offer great opportunities for kids to learn how to use their bodies effectively. They also help kids learn how to appropriately handle wins and losses, play together as a team, and give their best effort. These are lessons you can’t teach kids; they have to learn these skills on their own. We always encourage our sons to try new experiences. As a result, Angela and I have been the parents of swimmers, runners, baseball players, football players, and soccer stars. We even had a short stint of taekwondo! All three of our boys have played baseball, and we’re currently a family of track and baseball athletes. In high school and college, Angela was a track and field athlete, and one of our boys was bound to be born with her gift. It just so happened to be Micah, our eldest son, who we always thought would be a
good fit for track and field. Micah decided to take up running with the track and field team his first year of high school, and he’s now been committed to the sport for two years. Running hurdles is his favorite event, and he’s focused on improving and trying new things. With a new sports season starting this spring, athletes are hitting the field, court, or track in hopes of having their best season yet. As long as athletes take it slow, work their way back up to peak fitness from last season, and remember to maintain proper techniques as they play, they shouldn't have any troubles. Still, there are some concerns every parent has about athletics. As a physical therapist and a parent of rambunctious boys, I understand those fears. As my boys have gotten older, I’ve treated their injuries. While I’m never thrilled when one of them is hurt, they do learn quite a bit from these experiences. I teach them about ways to build healthy muscle, take care of their bodies,
and listen to what their aches and pains are telling them.
I have noticed that some athletes feel immense pressure to play through their pain or injury. It’s good to teach your kids the power of perseverance, but if your child feels any pain harsher than normal soreness, schedule a checkup with a professional. The longer you put off addressing an injury or pain, the worse it will get, and the more of a problem it will be. In addition, some athletes who seek treatment through physical therapy have reported that they perform better after PT than they did before they were injured. As a parent, there’s nothing worse than seeing your kid face an injury or pain, but the smiles on their faces as they smack a base hit or clear their hurdles make the sacrifices worth it. Good luck to all the spring and summer athletes!
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