Sport Specialization

There has been a movement towards off-season competitive hockey camps being run in the Spring and Summer in most communities every year. At TLPF we encourage parents to examine other options for their children because there should be a serious concern about the development of an overuse injury when a young athlete does not get sufficient recovery time at the conclusion of the hockey season. The skating muscles of the body need rest and recovery after a fall and winter of hockey. Playing summer roller hockey requires the use of the same muscle groups so we would discourage roller skating and roller hockey as Spring/Summer activities after a competitive hockey season.

There are lots of alternative sports and activities for children outside of hockey during the off-season like golf, soccer, lacrosse, baseball and many others. Another good option is an educational activity during the off-season to prepare for a Math or Science program in the next school year or semester.

I am aware of hockey players who after completing University Hockey required hip surgery caused by overuse during their youth hockey years. These players were active in summer and spring programs and never had a proper off-season for sufficient rest and recovery.

A player can still work his hands in the garage or basement with a floor matt and stick handle with his gloves on or shoot pucks at a tarp during the off-season but the skating muscle groups need rest and recovery.

I am a firm believer in sport diversity in the development of a student athlete. Beside the physical need for rest and recovery there is a lot of fun learning new sports and meeting new friends in different sport activities.

It’s easy to get caught up in the Spring/Summer hockey camp business but as a parent your role is to help your child make good decisions about other interests and hobbies so they do not burn out from hockey and are fresh and looking forward to tryouts every fall. There may be pressure for your son or daughter to sign up for these camps but be mindful of the fact that the right thing to do is often the hardest thing to do and the decision doesn’t have to be popular.

 

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