Reposted: August 16, 2005
Originally Posted: June, 2004

Young Athletes and their Parents! Prevent overuse injuries that could last a lifetime! Stay in Good Condition All Year Long with Calasanz Kodomo Program for Young Athletes.

Young Athletes: Preventing Overuse Injuries
by Grace A. Luppino

Parents want the best for their children and sometimes that includes visions of a career in professional sports or athletic scholarships. Unfortunately, this has resulted in youngsters being subjected to excessive training regimes that are leaving some children with serious physical injuries. According to a recent Business Week article, Young Athletes, Big League Pain (June 7, 2004) by Mark Hyman, young athletes are seeking medical treatment in record numbers for overuse injuries. The reason for this, according to the author, is that young athletes are striving for sports scholarships and professional sports contracts. Many children are pushed by parents and coaches who have visions of producing the next Venus Williams or Michael Jordan. They are subjected to extra training and play sports all year round. The article advised parents to monitor how much time their children spend training, and allow enough rest periods for the body to recuperate. The article also warned parents that overuse injuries can sideline children forever.

Participating in sports helps children develop social skills in addition to helping stem the recent increase in childhood obesity. It is however a major concern when we see such as increase in overuse injuires and according to the BusinessWeek article, is now a “rising health care crisis.”

One of the best ways to avoid overuse injuries is to stay in good physical condition all year round. Calasanz Kodomo* program is designed for children and teenagers who want to pre-condition for the season and to improve their performance in their chosen sport. This program provides a curriculum that consolidates the most powerful conditioning aspects of the martial arts into one conditioning program. Calasanz has had a long history of training not only young athletes who have participated in every sport from football to soccer, but has also had the privilege of training professional athletes. Calasanz has worked with tennis star Ivan Lendl and various members of the Hartford Whalers, a professional ice hockey team.

Kodomo students start their training with conditioning exercises for strength, flexibility, and endurance. Then they learn a blend of martial arts techniques from various disciplines for specific purposes. The techniques of Calasanz Kickboxing and Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate are practiced for explosive leg power, shoulder and forearm strength and coordination. Wing Chun Kung Fu and American Boxing movements help develop maximum torque through explosive hip movement and unbeatable hand speed. Chinese Boxing techniques enhance grounding and balancing skills. As a unit, these disciplines incorporate martial art breathing techniques necessary to provide adequate oxygen to the body. The Kodomo training regime yields other benefits such as developing concentration, stamina and hand-eye coordination.

While Kodomo is a very comprehensive program, Calasanz is very clear with his young students about taking time out to recuperate. Calasanz and his instructors monitor the amount of time students spent training so that the body can have a rest. Over training leaves the body more susceptible to injuries. Rest and recuperation is especially crucial for children and teenagers who are still experiencing physical growth and development.

* Kodomo is also great for kids who are not necessarily participating in sports, but just want to improve their physical fitness and begin martial arts training.