I have been involved in athletics since I was 5-years-old. I have played lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, basketball, dancing, and swimming. Throughout the years I have found that the older I get the more injury prone I am. I know that my body can no longer take the wear and tare that athletics puts on it.
While I am in my third year of being a college athlete, I find every day a new injury forming in a new area of my body. I can only wonder why I feel as if I am a middle aged woman, when in actuality I am only 20. If I had waited longer before becoming as serious with sports I wonder if I would have decreased my injury rates.
Vise versa if I had began my athletic career earlier, would I have had more injuries at a younger age? Today’s studies have found that my second statement is accurate. Now a days female athletes have had an increasing issue with the rate of injuries. My younger sister is only 13-years-old and she has had a severe concussion, two sprained ankles, knee problems, and wrist problems. So what is changing in the sports world that is contributing these rates increasing?
For one I think that the increasing pressures that parents are putting on their children at younger ages is adding to the problem . Girls as young as 3rd grade are taking on the same responsibilities and tasks that are involved with teams as those of high school or college students.
For example parents have been sending their children to personal trainers when they are only in elementary school. Parents have also increased the amount of teams and sports that their children are participating in at one time. I remember that I was only in middle school I was playing rec. field hockey, rec. lacrosse, club lacrosse, club field hockey, basketball, and swimming all during one year. This amount of pressure on a child’s body at an early age will increase the chance of injuries as they get older.
The reason that parents are adding more pressure on their children at earlier ages is because the recruiting process to make college and professional teams has become way more competitive. In today’s athletic world, girls are expected to start thinking about getting recruited as early as freshman year in high school. So they are taking all the possible opportunities to get scouted.
But is all the pressure really worth it in the end? Take it from someone who has done it……the answer is no! My best advice is to take care of your bodies and injuries when you are growing up, because they will come back to haunt you as you get older.