Ahhhhh, rest. Sometimes, coming through the Holiday Season enjoying family and friends often brings us to a point of…well, exhaustion. After all the gift wrapping is tossed out and the last cookie is eaten we instinctively find ourselves plopped into the over-sized arm chair. This is our body saying, hey you, it’s time to slow down, get quiet, and reenergize. We need to take a hint and look to applying this same concept of rest to our young soccer athletes. Especially now, between seasons.

Granted, if we parents had half the energy they have, we’d have conquered world hunger by now. But none-the-less, our kids are still kids. They have growing bodies which are susceptible to injury by over-use. It’s crucially important that we allow them time away from their sport of choice, even if it is the greatest sport in the world (futbol), to let their bodies refresh, re-nourish, and rest.

The American Academy of Pediatrics found that up to 50 percent of all injuries seen in pediatric sports medicine are related to overuse. The academy defined an overuse injury as a “micro traumatic injury to a bone, muscle or tendon that has been subjected to repetitive stress without sufficient time to heal or undergo the natural healing process.”

So there you go, we need to allow our child athletes some time to be away from the sport they love, so they can continue loving it. Sure, they’re probably out there in the back yard right now practicing their scorpion kicks (did you see Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Man U last week, unreal !?!). But they will be self-limiting and when they get tired they’ll come in with muddy shoes on the kitchen floor and ask you what’s for dinner. Hey, with four son’s myself, been there done that.

So take the time this off-season to let our kids have a break and soak in the rest they deserve. Then come the start of practice in a few weeks, we’ll be at it again. Remember, always to Play Hard and Play Safe (and rest too).

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