top of page

How can
MBK Recovery help my young athlete?

Kenneth Robinson, your health and bodywork specialist. With over 20 years of experience in the Health and Wellness industry, Kenneth is certified in more than 40 different modalities in sports and bodywork. He has worked with prestigious organizations such as The University of Tennessee, Cherokee Country Club Wellness Fair, Spartan Race, and Ironman competitions. Kenneth is renowned in the Knoxville area for his expertise in sports preventive maintenance and recovery, making him one of the most trusted professionals in the field.

Injuries among young athletes LOOK AT THE NUMBERS!

According to a 2016 CDC report, 64.9% of sports and recreation-related injuries occur in people
aged 5–24, with an age-adjusted rate of 34.1 per 1,000 people. However, other studies have
reported different prevalence rates for adolescent athletes, ranging from 34.1% to 65%.
Some risk factors for sports injuries in adolescents include:
● Body mass index (BMI)
● Physical activity patterns
● Age
● Gender
● Sport type
● Previous injuries
● Training practices

For example, younger athletes, females, and those who practice excessively are at higher risk.

Certain sports, like soccer and football, also have higher injury rates.
Their findings revealed that 40.4% of participants suffered injuries in 2019. The average injury

rate was 2.64 per 1000 hours of participation, with soccer having the highest injury rate at 7.21.

The most common injuries included lumbar muscle strains, ankle sprains, and bone fractures.

(information obtained from the National Library of Medicine)

Why would regular recovery treatments benafit your every day athlete?

Active recovery is important because it can aid the body's natural repair processes, accelerating
recovery from strenuous exercise, reducing muscle soreness, and minimising the risk of injury. It
helps improve your overall fitness by preventing overtraining and ensuring the body remains
agile and responsive. Taking time off gives your body and mind time to reset, recharge and
recover. Your muscles will be less sore and fatigued and, instead of just going through the
motions, you'll be able to give your next workout the effort it needs to get results.

Why Is Rest and Recovery So Important?

Overuse Injuries
In youth sports, the importance of rest and recovery cannot be overstated, particularly when it
comes to safeguarding young athletes from overuse injuries. While acute injuries may
command immediate attention due to their sudden onset, it is the insidious nature of overuse
injuries that demands heightened awareness. These injuries, stemming from repetitive motions
over time, can silently wreak havoc on growing bodies. Joints, tendons, and bones bear the
brunt of this prolonged stress, leading to ailments like stress fractures and tendinitis, especially
prevalent in sports like baseball, swimming, and running. The irony lies in the fact that these
injuries, though gradual, can be more challenging to detect and treat due to their subtle
progression. For instance, swimmers may find themselves grappling with shoulder injuries,
impairing their range of motion, while runners battle shin splints or stress fractures from
relentless pounding on the legs. It’s a sobering reminder that the young, vibrant bodies of
athletes are not invincible and require thoughtful care to thrive in their chosen pursuits.


Beyond the physical toll, there’s another menace lurking in the shadows of youth sports:
burnout. Parents and coaches stand as gatekeepers in the battle against burnout, with the
power to shape young athletes’ experiences positively. As children immerse themselves in a
single sport, the relentless cycle of training and competition leaves little room for rest. The
pressure to excel, fueled by dreams of collegiate scholarships or professional careers, adds
another layer of strain, pushing young bodies and minds to their limits. Yet, amidst this pursuit
of excellence, the warning signs of burnout often go unheeded — persistent fatigue, and waning

enthusiasm. It’s a precarious tightrope walk where the line between dedication and overexertion
blurs, with consequences for both physical health and mental well-being.

What Is an Overuse Injury

Overuse injuries, unlike their acute counterparts, which stem from isolated traumatic events,
develop gradually over time, fueled by the repetitive motions inherent in sports activities. These
injuries, often subtle in their onset, pose unique diagnostic and treatment challenges. Targeting
the joints, tendons, and bones, overuse injuries manifest in a myriad of forms, from stress
fractures to tendinitis, compromising vulnerable areas like the shoulder.

Spring Sports Where They Are Common

As the spring season rolls around, so does the excitement of outdoor sports, yet with it comes
the heightened risk of overuse injuries for young athletes. Among the spring sports roster,
baseball, swimming, and running stand out as arenas where overuse injuries are common. In
baseball, pitchers face the risk of the Tommy John elbow injury, a result of the repetitive stress
inflicted during the pitching motion. This ligamentous strain often necessitates surgical
intervention, with a grueling recovery period stretching up to a year. Meanwhile, swimmers are at
risk for shoulder injuries, particularly in the rotator cuff, jeopardizing their range of motion and
performance in the water. Similarly, runners contend with the relentless impact on their leg
bones, paving the way for shin splints and stress fractures. These injuries, though varied in
nature, share a common thread of overuse, stemming from the repetitive demands of their
respective sports. As coaches and parents usher young athletes onto the field, track, or pool
deck, it becomes imperative to prioritize injury prevention strategies, from limiting pitch counts
in baseball to incorporating cross-training and stretching regimens in swimming and running. By
fostering a culture of mindful training and proactive care, we can navigate the spring sports
season with a renewed focus on the well-being and longevity of our budding athletes.

What Is Burnout

Mental And Physical Burnout

While the importance of preventing physical injuries is widely acknowledged, the equally
pressing issue of mental burnout often flies under the radar. Emotional stress, whether
self-imposed or externally imposed by coaches or parents, can exact a heavy toll on the young
minds navigating the competitive landscape. The pressure to succeed can chip away at the joy
and passion that should fuel their athletic endeavors. It’s a reminder that the pursuit of victory
should never come at the expense of a child’s emotional health. Instead, the focus should shift
towards fostering an environment where the primary goals of participation revolve around fun,
skill development, and physical activity. Losing a game, while disappointing, should never be a
source of emotional harm; rather, it should serve as a valuable lesson in resilience and
sportsmanship. As parents and coaches, it falls upon us to champion this ethos, rewarding
effort, hard work, and sportsmanship irrespective of the outcome. Regular communication with
our young athletes becomes paramount, ensuring they do not internalize the pressure to win. By
addressing both the physical and mental aspects of burnout, we can cultivate a culture of

What Spring Sports Commonly Cause Burnout?

Certain activities carry a heightened risk of burnout among young athletes. At The Pediatric
Orthopedic Center, we advocate for a balanced approach to sports participation, cautioning
against early specialization in a single sport year-round until high school age. This approach
allows for crucial rest periods, ensuring both athletes and their developing joints receive the rest
needed to thrive. However, even with this precautionary measure in place, the demands of
certain spring sports can still predispose athletes to burnout. Take throwing sports, for instance,
where the repetitive nature of motions can spell trouble for young arms. Moreover, factors like
poor mechanics and insufficient rest can compound the risk, making elbow injuries a prevalent
concern among throwing athletes. By prioritizing proper warm-ups, strength training, and open
communication between coaches and athletes, we can mitigate the risk of burnout, ensuring
young athletes can enjoy a fulfilling and sustainable athletic journey.

Additional Potential Issues


Dehydration poses a significant threat to young athletes, particularly during strenuous physical
activity or in hot weather conditions. It’s imperative for parents to ensure their children have
access to an adequate water supply, both before and during sports events. Packing water
bottles and encouraging regular hydration breaks can help prevent the detrimental effects of
dehydration, such as fatigue, muscle cramps, and impaired performance.

Pulled Muscles
Pulled muscles represent another common concern among young athletes, often stemming
from inadequate warm-up routines or overexertion during play. Whether it’s a hamstring strain
on the soccer field or a pulled muscle during track and field events, these injuries can sideline
athletes and impede their performance. Implementing thorough stretching and warm-up
protocols before and after matches can help mitigate the risk of muscle strains and pulls,
keeping young athletes limber and primed for action. Moreover, emphasizing gradual
progression in strength and speed training, coupled with proper equipment and protective gear,
can further reduce the likelihood of muscle-related injuries on the field.

School-Work Issues
Beyond the physical realm, young athletes may also struggle with the challenges of balancing
schoolwork and sports commitments. The demands of rigorous training schedules and
competitive matches can sometimes encroach upon valuable study time, leading to stress and
academic strain. Parents and coaches play pivotal roles in supporting student-athletes in
managing their academic responsibilities alongside their athletic pursuits. Encouraging effective
time management strategies, fostering open communication channels, and prioritizing
academic success can help alleviate the pressure and ensure a harmonious balance between
school and sports. By addressing these additional potential issues, we can create a holistic
framework for nurturing the well-being and success of young athletes both on and off the field.

bottom of page