sports physiotherapist

Sporty teenagers and growing pains

New normal for sporty teenagers

Young sporty teenagers, who have been used to training several times a week, in school and with clubs, will be finding that since the Covid-19 restrictions came into place, their physical activity routines have been thrown up into the air. No longer are they going to training and matches and meeting their friends. Instead, it’s school at home and skills videos.

Sporty teenagers are not mini-adults and growing pains should not be ignored.

A change is as good as a rest

While the break gives an opportunity for injured players and athletes to recover from injuries, resting completely will not fix everything and certainly won’t prepare them adequately for return to sport. Strengthening weak muscles and stretching tight muscles in immature growing bodies will mean that they will better prepared to return to organized training whenever that is. Sore knees, sore groins, sore hamstrings and ankle sprains are all very common in sporty teenagers. Even for those youngsters who are not injured, if they would like to improve their performance in their chosen sport, a simple strengthening programme that can be done 2-3 times per week, with little or no equipment at home will help achieve this. Get in touch if need more specific advice regarding an injury.

Teenage athletes are not mini-adults

Every junior athlete or player is growing- slowly or quickly. These sporty teenagers are not mini- adults. Therefore, the programmes online doing the rounds at the moment, designed for adults, may not be suitable- particularly if the youngster is injured. Usually, there are growth spurts, and it’s often during this time that niggles/ injuries are reported. Athletics Ireland Physiotherapist Paul Carragher has developed a strengthening programme specifically for junior athletes from age 14 and older which covers hip muscle strengthening, squats, planks lunges, calf raises, some jumps and hops. There are 3 levels so there is plenty of scope to progress if someone finds level one too easy. There is also a mobility programme suitable for this age group that covers ankle, hip and upper back mobility. These areas are particularly important for running- so covers almost all sports. These are invaluable resources for this age group and really applicable to all sporty teenagers.

Please see the links below to these fantastic resources.

https://www.athleticsireland.ie/downloads/other/AAI_Mobility_Program.pdf