What is it that high school coaches are looking for in athletes? What is it that distinguishes a player who will make the cut, versus the one who doesn't make the team? It seems that these days parents are in a frenzy to get their kids onto the high school sports team, so that they can make it to college, and get that illustrious scholarship. From a young age parents are preparing their kids for college athletics. The conversation about the pros and cons of this push from parents is a topic for another post. What I want to discuss here is a bit on the subject of how do we best prepare our children for their sport? What is the best path to get on that high school team? Is it 7 days a week practice or early specialization on a position? If you have read even a little of the research on youth sports over the past few years, you will know these approaches can be detrimental to the young athlete.
In this video interview series we are seeking out the high school coaches themselves and asking them, "What are the top characteristics or skills you are looking for in an athlete coming into your program?" The first interview comes from Bob Marshall, the head varsity baseball coach at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA. Change Sports Physical Therapy is the Preferred Physical Therapy Provider for Marina High School Athletics. Take a look at what Coach Marshall has to say.
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Dr. Chris Koutures, MD, FAAP to talk about tibial stress injuries. Dr. Koutures is a pediatric sports medicine doctor in Anaheim Hills, CA. He is a team physician for USA Volleyball Indoor Teams, and also works with Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University. Dr. Koutures is one of the most thorough doctors I have met when it comes to explaining conditions and the underlying causes with patients and myself as a physical therapist.
The topic of this video interview is stress injuries to the tibia. As you will see, this can range from shin splints to fractures of the tibia. This is a common injury seen by runners and athletes of other sports involving a lot of loading to the lower legs. In my experience when people get "shin splints" they chalk it up to bad luck. If someone "always gets shin splints" it is seen as simply an unlucky occurrence. As we will see, there are a lot of factors which will lead someone to have pain in the lower leg. As with any stress (overuse) injury, we need to find out what are the stressors which are acting on that particular body region. These stressors can be extrinsic factors- those coming from outside of the body. These may include training regimen, running/playing surface, shoe wear, etc. Stressors can also be intrinsic factors- those coming from the athlete's body. These may include foot structure, strength, stability, flexibility of the ankle, hip stability, core stability, and more. The key to a successful recovery and/or prevention of this type of injury is to eliminate as many stressors as you can and increase your promoters of health. Promoters can include rest, nutrition, proper training regimen, correct mechanics, soft tissue mobility, corrective exercises and proper equipment.