Overtraining for kids

Gwai Lo Dan

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I read this article on overtraining in young hockey players and thought that there were a lot of similarities with TKD.

'One of the worst things to happen to the game': The toll year-round hockey takes on young athletes

A few points I thought were very applicable to TKD:
  • “I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season,” Gretzky told the National Post in 2000. “One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey. All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out of sports they should be doing in the warmer weather.”
  • “Parents look at their kids as investments and at some point they want some payback. I think that’s why you sometimes see some issues with parents and they become ornery, because they are investing a huge amount of money.”
  • “I think the best successful hockey players that I’ve worked with were also tremendous athletes. They were guys who could have played professionally in other sports. From a performance standpoint, the broader the base of their athleticism from a young age, the greater their skill acquisition will be at a later age.”
  • “Skating is an unnatural motion. The human body is not designed to put skates on or smash into people. We are designed to run and jump and move. Doing that without having other activities to balance it out, you’re definitely going to see overuse injuries like hip labral tears and sports hernias.”
I think hockey is similar to TKD in that there is a huge skill base to learn. Unlike other sports that use running, kids need to learn to skate well AND use their hands.

The article says to let kids rest their bodies and develop other motor skills in other sports. Yet TKD schools (as far as I have seen) almost all push the year long contract.

What do you guys think?
 

Danny T

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Everyone needs a break from time to time. Kids even more so. Other sports can help develop different body movements that will increase one's abilities. We have training programs year round but allow our members to freeze their memberships for up to 90 days allowing for them to have breaks throughout the year.
 

Flatfish

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One thing to consider might be how often the kids train and how serious you are about competing. My son trains TKD two times a week for about an hour. I don't think that amount would cause him to miss out on other things. We go swimming, ride bikes, skate and he's gonna try out futsall in a couple of weeks. So I don't think it's an issue for him.

In my daughter's gymnastics gym on the other hand, the kids that compete train five days a week for five hours…..that I think would qualify for missing out on other things.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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That's a good point, concerning frequency and duration. 2 times per week, is nothing in terms of overtraining, I agree it's when you get into hours over many days that overtraining becomes an issue. It's interesting to read that your kid will try futsal. I've never heard of it outside Brasil.
 

Flatfish

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That's a good point, concerning frequency and duration. 2 times per week, is nothing in terms of overtraining, I agree it's when you get into hours over many days that overtraining becomes an issue. It's interesting to read that your kid will try futsal. I've never heard of it outside Brasil.

They offer it at the YMCA here
 

Tez3

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That's a good point, concerning frequency and duration. 2 times per week, is nothing in terms of overtraining, I agree it's when you get into hours over many days that overtraining becomes an issue. It's interesting to read that your kid will try futsal. I've never heard of it outside Brasil.


I had to look it up.

Home Page - Your Futsal
 

TrueJim

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At the school that my son and I attend, almost all the kids seem to be involved in other sports as well: soccer, flag football, rugby, swimming, tee-ball, etc. (As an aside, there seem to be a lot of kids at our school who are into scouting as well.)

My observation has been that during game season, those kids (including my soccer-loving son) tend to put taekwondo on hold (i.e, attend less frequently) just because there's not enough time to do their other sport AND taekwondo at the same time. So I definitely agree with the premise (mixing things up is good for kids) but I personally haven't seen over-training as a problem at our taekwondo school.
 

WaterGal

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Agree with a lot of the others. Most kids that do TKD only train 2-3 hours a week. Even our more serious students only train probably 4-6 hours a week. It's not like hockey or swimming, where kids get up at 4am to train for 3 hours every day before school.
 
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