Nov 19 / Warren Lucas

Sound Medical Advice for Youth Athletes aged 11-16 years old

Medical pillars for high performance

In the dynamic world of high performance youth sports, ensuring the health and well-being of athletes aged 11-16 is paramount. This blog explores the integral roles of various medical professionals in injury management and prevention, shedding light on the collective wisdom that will be imparted at the upcoming youth athlete development seminar on the 27th November 2023 at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

1. The Watchful Eyes of Sports Doctors
Sports doctors play a crucial role in safeguarding the health of young athletes. At the seminar, Dr. Leigh Gordon of the Cape Sports Medicine practice will share insights into injury diagnosis, treatment, and the importance of regular health check-ups. Emphasizing proactive measures, sports doctors empower parents and coaches to be vigilant, ensuring any potential issues are addressed promptly.

2. The Restorative Power of Sleep Scientists
It is known that adequate sleep is a cornerstone of athletic performance, athletic recovery and injury prevention. Dr. Dale Rae, the Director of Sleep Science and a Senior Researcher at the Health through Physical Activity and Lifestyle Research Centre within the University of Cape Town, will delve into the science behind quality rest, explaining how it contributes to physical recovery, mental resilience, and overall well-being. Practical tips for optimizing sleep will be shared, empowering parents and coaches to foster optimal sleep environments for their young high performance athletes.

3. The Healing Hands of Sports Physiotherapists
Sports physiotherapists play a hands-on role in the pre-habilitation, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries. Through specialized exercises, targeted interventions, and injury prevention strategies, these experts contribute to the longevity of an athlete's career. The upcoming seminar brings Rashaad Jakoet, Owner and Founder of the Sports Science Physiotherapy Centre provide insight into incorporating the ABC's when an injury occurs, and will discuss the importance of implementing physiotherapy visits in both off-peak and peak seasons of training and competition. In doing so, this may minimise the risk of injuries during developmental phases in adolescence.

4. The Foundation: Insights from Podiatrists
The feet are the foundation of an athlete's performance. Podiatrists who work in the sports sector are important for biomechanics analysis of the feet, ankles, knees and hips. Calvin Sinnett, the Co-Founder of Cape Podiatry will share his expertise on foot health, gait analysis, and the role of proper footwear on and off the field. Understanding the biomechanics of growing bodies, parents and coaches will be equipped with knowledge to ensure their young athletes' feet are well-supported, reducing the risk of injuries associated with improper footwear or biomechanical issues.

In conclusion, as the seminar unfolds, a holistic approach to Youth Athlete Development will provide further insight into these four pillars of expertise for high-performance athletes and sport. Armed with sound medical advice from sports doctors, sleep scientists, sports physiotherapists, and podiatrists - parents and coaches will be  empowered to nurture the next generation of sporting talent responsibly and sustainably.

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Sign up for our SSISA Seminar: High Performance - Youth Athlete Development [PART 2]: Sound Medical Advice on 27 November 2023

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