How much is too much?

by Elijah Johns | staff writer

According to U.S. News, about 55.5% of high school students participate in athletics for their school. Many times, these students devote their lives and all their free time to one single sport. These students push themselves hard all year and unfortunately, in some cases it leads to an increase of injury. Overtraining is the downside of training. What may seem like a good thing, can derail an athlete’s success.

“I think multiple sports year round tends to use different aspects, muscles, and different types of skills, and that’s good for the overall athlete. Unfortunately I see the issue with a lot the same sport all year that have over-use competitive type injuries,” athletic trainer Tim Moore said.

Training so hard for a single sport can lead to injury. Athletes should take precautions in order to make the chance of injury smaller.

“[To prevent injuries] have an off season. Take quality breaks, and you have to cross train if you are only going to play one sport.  You want to work out the whole body and all the different muscles and joints- not just one specific one over and over again,” Moore said.

Student athletes should consider taking a season off so that their bodies can recover and rebuild. If they do play the same sport year-round, athletes should switch up workouts. In addition to keeping the athlete in shape, cross-training can also help build strong muscles in places that may not be used during the season.

“Theres two sides to everything, like that for instance; if you’re going to be in cross county or track you can run all year round. But doing a workout on your off season, that’s something different. I mean if your doing a work out for cross country and then do that same work out all year round, that’s not good. But you still want to stay in shape and run,” Moore said.

Many sports teams, such as cross country and football, also practice everyday. While getting the adequate amount of training and practice is important, going at a 100 percent capacity everyday is not healthy for the student athlete.

“Practicing everyday…it depends on the quality of practice. You can have practice everyday but you can’t be going 90 percent to 100 percent every day; that’s saved for the game. So as long as you keep it in a ratio of what you’re doing and how much you are doing it, it’s a safe bet. You don’t want to be grinding it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then game Friday,” Moore said.

One way to try and prevent sports-related injuries is plenty of rest, according to Moore.

“Your body gets a break, especially during the later teen year, you have to have a rest period for those bones and a rest period for those joints after you’ve worked them. That’s when they can heal and be stronger for the next cycle,” Moore said. “If you have too many cycles back to back to back, that’s when you start to see the wear down of those muscles and joints,” Moore said.

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