Single Sport Soccer Injuries

How many kids have you seen injured on your soccer team(s)?

Concussion, Achilles strain, meniscus and/or ACL tear, etc.? Seems epidemic, doesn’t it?

I was speaking with my daughters physical therapist (strained ankle) and she had just returned from some big national conference where the major theme was the spike of serious injuries among teenagers due to early specialization in sports.

Try to Google some of this and you’ll go absolutely nuts! You won’t find two opinions/studies that agree on a consensus. So who’s to believe?

SEE MORE: Increase your soccer speed

It is tough to find conclusive research comparing the injuries of those kids who play just one sport like soccer to those who play more than one. Most, however, will agree that no one should play just one sport until about thirteen years old – just about when the kids enter puberty. This is not so much an injury issue but an effort to becoming a better athlete.

But is the issue to play one sport or more than one?

Usually bad training or overuse is the root cause of most injuries – whether sinle of multiple sport athlete.

Both athletes are usually at risk due to 1.) too many hours of training 2.)  not enough recovery time between practices and games and 3.) plain old over training.

Participating in two or more sports which focus on one body part or area of the body can lead to chronic injury just like too much training in one area of a single sport can lead to chronic injury.

If you think that your injuries can be attributed to over training and you play one sport then taking it easy (actually resting from the sport) will result in a speedy and full recovery.

Playing a just one sport like soccer over an extended period of time is clearly going to create stress on just about every body part. You will clearly see more knee injuries in soccer-only players than you would rotator cuff tears.

In summary, it’s not that the single sport issue is the problem – it’s overtraining and overuse that results in most of those injuries.

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One Comment

  1. Great article! As a mother of a U13G and a U10G club player, I have seen my share of injuries this past season. My older daughter was sidelined most of the season with a hamstring injury and a right labral tear in her hip. These are both over use injuries. I think that more time of the off season needs to be focused on core and stability strength. These coaches all work on foot skills, speed, agility and reaction time, but very rarely work on just plain strength.

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