Overtraining is a common concern for all of our adolescent athletes. Whether the sport is football, cricket, swimming, dance, cheerleading or even circus we see a lot of injuries that present due to overtraining and poor muscle patterns. While it is important to practice for the individual sport, it is also important to acknowledge that quite often the body is very weak and flexible but not very strong throughout the adolescent period.
We see far too often adolescents who are either training everyday for a singular sport or training everyday for multiple sports. Unfortunately, at many of the adolescent levels, strength training is not considered as part of the weekly training schedule and overuse injuries occur. If we play the devils advocate and look at sacrificing a skills based training session for a conditioning session, our young stars will begin to build that inherent strength they lack and sustain less injuries.
Most sporting teams include a warm up prior to training, which in my experience tends to lack substance and specificity. It is important to develop power and challenge strength specific to the sport. If you are training for your sport more than twice a week and/or if you have concurrent sporting commitments, it is important to recognize that specific strength and conditioning training is paramount to performance and remaining relatively injury free.