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Dr. Richard Diana: The Parent's Guide to Training Young Athletes

February 13, 2018

As many as 2 million injuries happen to young student athletes every year, leading them to more than 500,000 different kinds of doctor's appointments. What's a parent to do? 

Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute surgeon Dr. Richard Diana is a former Yale and NFL running back now working on a book to help us teach our teams (and teens) how to prevent injury.


Q: What are some ways parents can help prevent injury? A: The first thing is to remember that athletes get hurt, and you're not going to avoid all injuries. But there are a lot of injuries that you can avoid, and that's just by learning some specific things. Like you first have to understand that kids are not just little adults. Kids are very individualized because, biologically, they're different. Their bones have growth plates, their tendons aren't as mature, their muscles don't act the same. So, when you train a young athlete, you can't train them like an adult. Too many coaches and parents try to train kids as adults, and they overtrain them. And by overtraining them, they hurt them.

Q: Talk about ways to we rein that in overuse injuries. A: I think it's all about knowledge. People are very receptive to training safely and trying to maximize their young athletes. They want that very badly. And so when you teach them a little bit, they train in a different way. And then when they see the results, they're very happy about that.

Q: Tell us about your forthcoming book on this topics. A: "The Parent's Guide To Training Young Athletes" is going to teach people in the individual sports how to train and train sports-specific.

Learn more about the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute here