Posts tagged youth sports
The Importance Of An Offseason In Adolescent Baseball Players

Early sport specialization where our youth athletes focus on a single sport year round has become more popular over the last decade. The 10,000 hours reference (original study in violinists not athletes) reinforced this concept despite the adverse events of early sports specialization include burnout, depression/anxiety, lower athletic performance, and sports injuries. Research into high level professional athletes indicates the vast majority of these athletes did not specialize in an individual sport until their late teens (post high school). Playing a variety of sports or playing sports on a seasonal vs. year round allows for recovery and correction of repetitive sport specific movements like throwing. A recent study highlights the importance of the offseason in youth baseball athletes.

Otoshi and colleagues in the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery enrolled close to 700 elementary school baseball players who underwent a medical history, physical examination, and ultrasound investigation of their elbow joint (2019). Authors reported an inverse relationship between elbow pathology found on ultrasound and the duration of the athletes’ off season. Athletes who played either a longer season or multiple seasons per year were found to have the greatest prevalence of elbow pathology. Conversely, an athlete’s risk of pain and pathology on ultrasound was significantly lower if their off season last longer than 1-2 months. As expected, authors found off season recovery was significantly associated with the presence of elbow pathology.

Boulder County Student Athletes and Mend Physical Therapy

Have a student athlete that is injured, or always seems to run into issues as the season ramps up? 

At Mend, we are dedicated to keeping our young athletes healthy. One of the tragic consequences of sustaining an injury or experiencing pain as a young athlete is becoming the adult that doesn’t run, ski, hike, exercise regularly (fill in the blank) because they have had a “bad” knee/ankle/etc. since high school. Often these persistent limitations develop simply because that athlete didn’t receive good advice or treatment when the issue began. 

In an effort to keep our young community healthy and active we are offering discounted rates to any student athlete in the area. Please visit the scheduling link on our website: and select “Initial Evaluation: Student Athlete” to schedule your appointment in Boulder or Louisville with Jeff or Kristin. 

Not sure that physical therapy is right for your athlete? Please schedule a free screen and we’ll be happy to take a look and give you our expert advice.