The Sports Health Program at Nicklaus Children's provides athletes with an array of support services including injury prevention and rehabilitation, athletic training, sports nutrition and more.
Our team wants to remind young athletes to follow these important pre- and post-training tips to prepare their bodies for the demands of in-season practices and competitions.
Sports Tips for Athletes
- Obtain a sports physical exam: All athletes should see their pediatrician for a physical evaluation prior to engaging in sports activities. Nicklaus Children’s offers free EKG screenings for young athletes in an effort to detect heart conditions that can lead to SCD.
- Engage in a dynamic warm up: Warming up prior to practicing or playing sports and stretching afterwards are paramount to an athlete’s overall performance. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are some of the most common affecting young sports participants, and these types of injuries continue to rise among female athletes. Proper warm up not only prepares the muscles for sports activity, it can also help with preventing injuries.
- Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet: Hydrating the body before, during and after a workout and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential to the growth of athletes of all ages and levels.
- Wear proper protective gear: Wear the proper sports equipment, such as shin guards and mouth guards, when practicing and competing in your sport to protect yourself from injuries.
- Rest: Athletes must get adequate amounts of sleep to keep the body and mind ready for the physical and emotional demands of playing a competitive sport. A young athlete should get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Christian Gerstenkorn, lead athletic trainer with the Sports Health Program at Nicklaus Children’s, provides an overview on ways to prevent injuries and help young athletes stay at the top of their game