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Youth Sports: Facts and Fiction

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Title: Youth Sports: Facts and Fiction


1
Youth Sports Facts and Fiction
  • Melanie A. Hart
  • School of HPELS
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • IAHPERD
  • November 3, 2002

2
Youth Sports
  • refer to adult-organized and controlled
    athletic programs for young people in the age
    range 6 to 18 years. (Smoll Smith, 1996, p.
    ix)
  • Two Important aspects of Youth Sports
  • Regularly scheduled practices and games
  • Structured events

3
Fact or Fiction?
  • Changes in youth sports have occurred.
  • Fact
  • Change is continuous even in youth sports.

4
Youth Sports (American Academy of Pediatrics,
2001)
  • Early 20th Century
  • Sport and games were characterized by play
  • Unstructured
  • Spontaneous
  • No adult involvement

5
Youth Sports (American Academy of Pediatrics,
2001)
  • Later 20th and Early 21st Centuries
  • Organized sporting events
  • No free play or unstructured games
  • Adult-oriented, not child-oriented
  • Starting at younger ages
  • Preschool
  • Many associations are starting at 3 years
  • Infant
  • Some companies have sponsored creeping (crawling)
    competitions

6
Fact or Fiction?
  • It is never too young to start participating in
    sports.
  • Fiction
  • There is an issue of readiness.
  • When should I start my child in sports?

7
Readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001
Smoll Smith, 1996)
  • Motivational Readiness
  • Does the child want to participate?
  • OR
  • Is it the parent that wants the child to
    participate?
  • It should be the childs choice.

8
Readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001
Smoll Smith, 1996)
  • Cognitive Readiness
  • What are the cognitive demands of the sport?
  • Are there strategies that have to be used?
  • Has that level of cognitive maturity been
    acquired?
  • Includes following instructions and following
    safety guidelines.

9
Readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001
Smoll Smith, 1996)
  • Physical Readiness
  • What are the physical demands of the sport?
  • Does the child have the strength or level of
    conditioning to participate successfully in the
    sport?
  • Does the child have the basic skill level to
    participate in the sport?
  • Has the child acquired the physical maturation
    needed to avoid potential harmful effects of
    participation?

10
Readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001)
  • Readiness needs to be met to avoid the effects of
    immaturity
  • Effects of Immaturity
  • When the demands of a sport exceed a childs
    cognitive and physical development the child may
    develop feelings of failure and frustrations.

11
Readiness (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001)
  • How to determine readiness?
  • Preparticipation pediatric examination to
    determine readiness for each sport
  • Assess the program goals of the sport
    organization
  • In a quality sport programs the goals should be
    child focused.

12
Quality Program Goals (Payne Isaacs, 2002)
  • Have fun
  • Develop motor skills
  • Develop physical fitness
  • Experience success and encouragement
  • Teach cooperation, and develop a sense of
    achievement and a positive self- concept
  • Develop desire for continued participation

13
Readiness (Penn State Sports Medicine
Newsletter, 1998)
  • The goals of a quality program have the potential
    of matching children of any age.
  • As a rule of thumb, the appropriate age to start
    the traditional youth sports is
  • 8-10 years is probably best for most children and
    sports
  • 13 years is minimum for collision sports
  • One of the main reasons for the last
    recommendation is safety

14
Fact or Fiction?
  • Sports are a major source of injuries in
    children.
  • Fact
  • Sports-related injuries cause 2.6 million visits
    annually (US News and World Report, 2001)
  • However, not all of these injuries were directly
    due to participation in organized youth sport
    programs.

15
Injuries (AAP, 2001 Gallahue Ozmun, 2002
Payne Isaacs, 2002)
  • Of the organized youth sport injuries, the
    majority of the injuries were sprains/strains,
    contusions and fractures
  • One of the big concerns in the past has been the
    risk of a fracture in the growth plate resulting
    in the cessation of the bone growth. Although
    these growth plate injuries do occur, they are
    rare.
  • Many of the injuries were due to direct contact
    with another individual or other objects.

16
Injuries (AAP, 2001 Gallahue Ozmun, 2002
Payne Isaacs, 2002)
  • The second highest category and a major concern
    is the area of overuse injuries.
  • There are several recommendations that have been
    made to reduce the risk of injuries in youth
    sports.

17
Preventing Injuries (AAP, 2001 Payne Isaacs,
2002)
  • Provide qualified adult supervision
  • Coaches and their techniques can prevent many
    injuries and the risk of injuries
  • Coaching Certification allows for a better
    understanding of developmentally appropriate
    activities and a better understanding of
    appropriate skill technique
  • Required use of appropriate safety equipment
  • Appropriate equipment and size

18
Preventing Injuries (AAP, 2001 Payne Isaacs,
2002)
  • Change rules to create a safer environment
  • Eliminate dangerous practices
  • Use smaller playing fields
  • Implement shorter contest time (i.e., limit
    innings pitched)
  • Use softer baseballs
  • Divided teams according to weight (i.e.,
    Weight-matched teams)
  • Make extreme climate adjustments

19
Preventing Injuries (AAP, 2001 Payne Isaacs,
2002)
  • Disallow questionable practices
  • Do not allow an injured child to return to
    competition until the injury has been completely
    healed and rehabilitated.
  • Do not condone rapid weight reduction
  • Do not condone the use of steroid or other
    performance enhancing drugs
  • Disallow head-first sliding
  • Disallow body checking

20
Preventing Injuries (AAP, 2001 Payne Isaacs,
2002)
  • Properly condition prior to participation
  • Avoid overtraining
  • Avoid specialization
  • Often results in overtraining and overuse
    injuries.

21
Practices and Games (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001 Penn State, 1998)
  • Pre-adolescent
  • Three games/practice sessions per week
  • 45 90 minutes
  • Preschool 15 minutes of instruction and 30
    minutes of supervised free play

22
Fact or Fiction?
  • Children do not respond to training like adults.
  • Fact
  • Children are not little adults, therefore they do
    not respond to training like adults.
  • They will not have a dramatic increase in muscle
    mass due to the lack of hormones, etc. (American
    Academy of Pediatrics, 2001)
  • But, children do respond to resistance training
  • Most of the strength gains are due to muscle unit
    recruitment and the coordination of the muscular
    and nervous systems. (American Academy of
    Pediatrics, 2001)

23
Strength Training (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001)
  • Because children are not little adults and do not
    respond the same way adults do, specific
    precautions should be used when training
    children, especially when using resistance
    training weights both free and machine, rubber
    bands or tubes, or body weight.

24
Strength Training (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001)
  • Guidelines
  • Child must meet minimum requirements
  • Some children may be physically ready, but not
    emotionally mature
  • Conditions that must be met
  • Be able to follow directions
  • Use the correct technique
  • Demonstrate the discipline to stick to a program
  • All workouts must be supervised by a qualified
    adult

25
Strength Training (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001)
  • Guidelines
  • Goal of a program should be to develop total
    fitness, not just increased strength and power.
  • Begin with one light set of 10-15 reps of 8 or so
    exercises
  • Use correct technique
  • Gradually increase resistance (5 to 10)
  • Two to three nonconsecutive training session per
    week

26
Strength Training (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001)
  • Guidelines
  • Supply positive reinforcement
  • NO MAXIMUM LIFTS!!!!!
  • Although, research has shown an increase in
    strength, there has not been a strong correlation
    with an improvement in performance.(Smoll
    Smith, 1996)

27
Training Programs (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001 Faigenbaum, 2000 Fleck
Kraemer, 1997)
  • Most children are not ready to engage in a
    regular routine until at least 8-12 years of age,
    but if they do there are some guideline to
    follow.
  • The key is to use a progressive approach

28
Training Programs (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001 Faigenbaum, 2000 Fleck
Kraemer, 1997)
  • Guidelines
  • lt7 years
  • Emphasis should be on safety and having fun
  • Learning proper technique
  • Light resistance
  • Low numbers
  • 8-10 years
  • Gradually increase resistance and number
  • Keep exercises simple
  • Monitor stress

29
Training Programs (American Academy of
Pediatrics, 2001 Faigenbaum, 2000 Fleck
Kraemer, 1997)
  • Guidelines
  • 11-13 years
  • Basic exercise techniques
  • Advanced techniques with no or very little
    resistance
  • 14-15 years
  • Sport-specific exercises
  • 16lt years
  • Entry level adult program (only if a basic level
    of fitness is present)

30
Fact or Fiction?
  • Parental or adult supervision of childrens
    activity is considered to be desirable.
  • Fiction
  • Recent events tend to accent the problem with
    adult involvement with youth sports

31
Parents (Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • Positive parental involvement is desirable
  • Children who enjoy playing sports tend to have
    parents who encourage rather than force them into
    athletic participation.

32
Parents (Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • Supportive and non-interfering parents
  • Define winning by the level of effort, not the
    score of the game
  • Maintain open communication with the child
  • Establish ground rules and provide consequences
  • Model appropriate behavior
  • Allow the child to experience the dynamics at his
    or her own pace
  • Provide unconditional love and support regardless
    of success or failure

33
Parents(Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • However, not all parental involvement is positive
  • Adult involvement in childrens sports
    activities may bring goals or outcome measure
    that are not oriented toward young participants.
    (AAP, 2001)
  • Inappropriate or overzealous parental or adult
    influences can have negative effects

34
Parents(Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • Overbearing and stress-causing parents
  • Try to live out their own athletic dreams through
    the child
  • Believe their childs success and failure in
    sport is a reflection of their parenting ability
  • Send the message to the child that their love,
    support, and approval is dependent on the childs
    level of performance

35
Parents(Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • Overbearing and stress-causing parents
  • Are quick to criticize and slow to praise
  • May be guilty of emotional abuse
  • May use age-inappropriate motivational techniques
    or drills with the child that can lead to overuse
    injuries or lowered self-esteem
  • Are cold and critical

36
Warning Signs (Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • There are some warning signs that the parents may
    be negatively involved. As physical educators
    and coaches, we need to be aware of these warning
    signs.

37
Warning Signs(Hirschhorn Loughead, 2000)
  • During sport activity, the child exhibits an
    attitude that is winning is all-important
  • Child is overly aggressive during sport
    activities
  • Child becomes extremely nervous and pre-occupied
    when parents attend athletic events
  • Child repeatedly cries if he or she doesnt
    perform well during athletic events, or if the
    team loses
  • Child has a habit of apologizing to coaches or
    parents after not performing well or after the
    team loses a game.

38
Physical Educators Role (Hirschhorn Loughead,
2000)
  • Be proactive
  • Detect unhealthy youth-parent relationships
  • Provide lectures
  • Help parents understand the impact they have on
    their childrens athletic experience
  • Help all deal with reality

39
Physical Educators Role (Hirschhorn Loughead,
2000)
  • Get parents involved
  • Help parents stress true goals of youth
    participation in sport
  • Fun
  • Maximum effort
  • Sportspersonship
  • Teach parents appropriate and effective ways to
    assist their children in sport
  • Help parents learn about the sport
  • Provide parents appropriate activities to
    practice with their child at home

40
Physical Educators Role (Hirschhorn Loughead,
2000)
  • Emphasize fun and participation
  • Measure success by skill improvement
  • help parents understand that sports serve as an
    environment where children learn values that are
    important in all aspects of life.
  • Remind parents that their childrens early
    experiences in sport can have a significant
    impact on the rest of their lives
  • Help parents model appropriate behavior for their
    children.
  • Encourage parents to communicate love, support,
    and acceptance regardless of their childrens
    performance in sport

41
Parents Code of Conduct
  • http//www.nyssf.org/sportparentcodeofconduct.html
  • On September 23, 2000, more than thirty heads of
    Massachusetts' chapters of national sports and
    medical associations, educational organizations,
    and professional associations met at Children's
    Hospital in Boston to participate in a consensus
    meeting to develop a sport parent code of conduct
    for the state.
  • Lists appropriate behaviors for parents
  • List consequences for inappropriate behaviors

42
Coaches Code of Conduct (Obtained from
Strategies November/December 2001)
  • The Coaches Council of the National Association
    for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) has
    established the following Code of Conduct to
    which coaches at all levels should be held
    accountable.
  •  Coaches have the knowledge and preparation to
    lead their teams within the parameters outlined
    by the National Standards for Athletic Coaches
    (NASPE, 1995).
  • Coaches are responsible to ensure that the
    health, well-being and development of athletes
    take precedence over the win/loss record.

43
Coaches Code of Conduct (Obtained from
Strategies November/December 2001)
  • Coaches accept that they do serve as role models
    and there must be congruency between their
    actions and words.
  • Coaches provide a physically and emotionally safe
    environment for practices and competition.
  • Coaches exemplify honesty, integrity, fair play,
    and sportsmanship regardless of the impact that
    might have upon the outcome of the competition.
  • Coaches maintain a professional demeanor in their
    relationships with athletes, officials,
    colleagues, administrators and the public and
    treat them with respect and dignity.

44
Coaches Code of Conduct (Obtained from
Strategies November/December 2001)
  • Coaches maintain confidentiality when appropriate
    and avoid situations that would potentially
    create a conflict of interest or exploit the
    athlete.
  • Coaches are committed to the education of their
    athletes and should encourage academic
    achievement.
  • Coaches are committed to the safety and
    well-being of each athlete and promote healthy
    lifestyles by their actions.
  • Coaches discourage the use of performance
    enhancing substances and dietary supplements.
  • Coaches prohibit the use of any illegal or
    recreational drugs.

45
Coaches Code of Conduct (Obtained from
Strategies November/December 2001)
  • Coaches educate athletes about nutrition, safe
    and healthy weight loss or gain, and healthy
    eating behaviors.
  • Coaches follow current safe training and
    conditioning techniques.
  • Coaches exhibit sound injury and risk management
    practices.
  • Coaches demonstrate an understanding of growth
    and developmental stages of their athletes.

46
Coaches Code of Conduct (Obtained from
Strategies November/December 2001)
  • Coaches encourage athletes to adopt a physically
    active lifestyle.
  • Coaches place the athletes needs and interests
    before their own.
  • Coaches remember that competition should be
    healthy and enjoyable for all.

47
Bill of Rights for Young Athletes (Tutko, 1976)
  • Right to participate in sports
  • Right to participate at a level commensurate with
    each childs maturity and ability
  • Right to have qualified adult leadership
  • Right to play as a child and not as an adult
  • Right to participate in safe and healthy
    environments

48
Bill of Rights for Young Athletes (Tutko, 1976)
  • Right of children to share in the leadership and
    decision-making of their sport participation
  • Right to proper preparation for participation in
    sports
  • Right to an equal opportunity to strive for
    success
  • Right to be treated with dignity
  • Right to have fun in sports

49
References
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Organized
    sports for children and preadolescents.
    Pediatrics, 107, 1459-1462.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Strength
    training by children and adolescents. Pediatrics,
    107, 1470-1472.
  • Faigenbaum, A.D. (2000). Strength training and
    childrens health. Journal of Physical
    Education, Recreation and Dance, 72(3), 24-30.
  • Fleck, S.J. Kraemer, W.J. (1997). Desgning
    resistance training programs, 2ed. Champaign,IL
    Human Kinetics.

50
References
  • Gallahue, D.L. Ozmun, J.C. (2002).
    Understanding motor development Infants,
    children, adolescents, adults, 5th ed. Boston
    McGraw-Hill.
  • Hirschhorn, D.K., Laughead, T.O. (2000).
    Parental impact on youth participation in sport
    The phsyical educators role. Journal of
    Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 71(9),
    26-29.
  • Payne, V.G. Isaacs, L.D. (2002). Human motor
    development A lifespan approach, 5th ed.
    Boston McGraw-Hill.

51
References
  • Penn State Sports Medicine Newsletter. (1998).
    Parents must weight childrens readiness for
    sports. Retrieved October 30, 2002.
    http//www.psu.edu.ur.NEWS/sprotsmed1.html.
  • Smoll, F.L., Smith, R.E. (1996). Children and
    youth in sport A biopsychosocial perspective.
    Madison, IA Brown Benchmark Publishers.
  • Tutko, T.A. (1976). Winning is everything and
    other American Myths. MacMillan Publishers.
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