Two friends playing soccer.

May 18, 2015 / Sports Medicine

Back to the Basics – Sports Medicine

Young athletes are working hard to jump higher and run faster. Though strengthening and training programs can be very effective in improving performance, it might be time to get back to the basics of having fun. Did you know playing tag can improve agility, reaction time and hand-eye coordination?

What if we went back in time and reminded our youth to get outside and goof off? Parents of young children recall the days of playing games like “kick the can” and “hide and seek” with neighborhood friends. We can all agree we’ve gotten away from that and need to make an attempt to go back.

We’ve traded all of this free play for organized activities with complicated training and competition schedules. Sometimes, kids are even developing overuse injuries from too many practices or too much too soon. Dr. Shane Miller, sports medicine pediatrician, encourages today’s youth to find the balance in participating in both organized sports and free play.

After all, a few good games of tag in the evenings just might be the ticket to a faster speed on the basketball court. Or, maybe, teaching dad some fancy footwork with a soccer ball in the yard might help that football player to be a little quicker on his feet.

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