Preventing Sports Injuries in Young Athletes: Strength Training Plays a Major Role

From football to cross-country and basketball to gymnastics, fall and late fall sports are in full swing. While many injuries go unnoticed, parents and coaches need to know what to look for to keep kids in the game. Student athletes heading into a new fall season run the risk of injury. Pressure to win, growing bones and improper training can cause strains, sprains or worse.

“If you see a student athlete with difficulties, it’s time to pull them back,” agrees John Hoffman, MD, who is fellowship-trained in sports medicine at OS and also has a certificate of added qualification in Sports Medicine. “I have seen a noticeable increase in young athletes between the ages of 10-18 with sports-related injuries.”

Young women more prone to knee injuries The most common sports-related injuries in young female athletes are knee ligament injuries (ACL tearsmeniscus tears) and anterior shoulder dislocations. Are female athletes more prone to ACL injuries? “Yes,” says Dr. Hoffman. “Women are four times more likely to have an ACL injury than men for the same number of hours they participate in sports.  This is in part due to their weight, they are typically less strong and their ligaments aren’t as strong as well.”

How to know if a child is injured?  “You’ll usually see swelling, pain, bruising, or deformity,” he says. “If that’s the case, the athlete should take an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Advil as well as employ the ‘RICE’ method: rest, ice, compression and elevation of the afflicted area.  If symptoms haven’t resolved with those treatments after approximately a week, it’s time to see a doctor.”

Training Programs to Reduce Risk The American Association of Pediatrics published a report in May of this year, which outlined an approach to not only treating ACL injures in a less invasive manner that protects the still developing growth plates in younger athletes, but also recommended ways in which athletes can reduce the risk of injury. The research completed by the AAP, showed that specific types of pre-season strength training can reduce the risk of ACL injuries by as much as 72%, particularly in girls. Learn more here.

For student athletes, preventing injury and reaching their potential means combining their personal desire to achieve with proven training techniques. Quad Cities Sports Acceleration program improves strength, power, agility, quickness, flexibility, and technique for athletes of all ages, ability and conditioning — no matter what the sport.

“We work with athletes starting at the age of 10 to those at a professional level, like most recently, Alex Tanney, NFL quarterback from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” says Ethan Holmes, Program Director for Quad Cities Sports Acceleration.  We strive to ensure that our athletes have access to the most advanced and most effective performance-enhancing athletic performance training available, to help athletes not only improve in their sport but to do it safely.”

The program focuses on top-end speed, vertical jump increase, multi-directional quickness, first-step quickness, upper & lower body strength as well as core strength. Each athlete is trained in a stable and safe environment, with maximum results if each athlete puts forth the effort.

Following the intensive, systematic four-, six-, or eight-week program, Holmes says athletes can see improvement in the following areas:

Confidence: Acceleration helps each athlete understand themselves better, giving them greater self-confidence not only in their sport, but also in life.

Attitude: Each athlete hones a positive winning attitude that can be seen in the game as well as at home and school.

In the game: Acceleration is proven to reduce the risk of injury.

Performance: As athletes put forth their effort, they see results. This includes speed, quickness, reaction time, agility, recovery time and core strength/stability.

Proprietary Equipment: Super Treadmills, Plyo Press, 3PQ, Patented Cords & Patented Written Protocols.

Visit or call 563-355-7601. Acceleration is located at 3885 Elmore Avenue, Suite A-3; Davenport, IA, 52807.  Like on Facebook at

For more information about the surgeons at Orthopaedic Specialists or the procedures that Dr. Hoffman performs, please visit or call (563) 344-9292 to schedule an appointment. Like us on Facebook at