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Numbers You Should Know!

There continues to be exponential growth of participation in organized sports in the United States, "according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)." Youth sports participation has reached nearly 30 million children and adolescents in the U.S. With the dramatic increase in participation, there has also been an alarming amount of injuries within the youth athlete population. According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable. Education and proper training techniques is necessary to reduce these numbers and make an impact on injury prevention in the youth athlete community. Dynamic Athlete Performance Academy (DAPA) uses scientific research and evidence based knowledge to create customized programs to prevent injuries and increase performance.

  • Among athletes ages 5 to 14, 28 percent of football players, 25 percent of baseball players, 22 percent of soccer players, 15 percent of basketball players, and 12 percent of softball players were injured while playing their respective sports.(4)

  • High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.(1)

  • Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child's age.(4)

  • More than 3.5 million kids under the age of age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.(1)

  • Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.(4)

  • These statistics are alarming! The amount of injuries in youth sports is on the rise and can be prevented with proper education and proper functional movement training.

  • Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.(2)

  • With sports teams and coaches emphasizing single sport specialization these days, the youth are not changing movement patterns while playing multiple sports. Athletes practice the same movement patterns repeatedly without periodization of training, proper dynamic warm-ups, strength training, power, speed and agility training. Coaches continue to enforce over training of repetitive movements causing the drastic increase in overuse injuries.

  • Since 2000 there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.(4)

  • Twenty percent of children ages 8 to 12 and 45 percent of those ages 13 to 14 will have arm pain during a single youth baseball season.(3)

  • It is speculated that this is on the rise due to emphasis of repetitive throwing by coaches without proper pitching or throwing programs in place along with the lack of strenghtening of the rotator cuff and scapular musculature to properly stabilize the elbow and shoulder. Hip mobility and thoracic mobility is also important to reduce stress to the shoulder and elbow when throwing. Proper pitching and throwig programs should be in place to improve form while strengthening and performing mobility exericse to reduce compensations.

  • Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.(2)

  • By age 13, 70 percent of kids drop out of youth sports. The top three reasons: adults, coaches and parents.(2)

DAPA's goal is to make an impact on the youth athlete and coaching community to reduce these numbers, prevent injuries, increase performance, and prolong the athlete's career.

Published by:

Dr. Ashley Sisson



  1. JS Powell, KD Barber Foss, 1999. Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons. J Athl Train. 34: 277-84.

  2. Safe Kids USA Campaign Web site. 2009.

  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2009.

  4. Preserving the Future of Sport: From Prevention to Treatment of Youth Overuse Sports Injuries. AOSSM 2009 Annual Meeting Pre-Conference Program. Keystone, Colorado.


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