Young Athletes Face Unique Challenges This Sports Season

Young Athletes Face Unique Challenges This Sports Season

Our Sports Medicine Experts Are Here to Help

This pandemic has been especially challenging for young athletes who desperately want to get back to doing what they love—competing. Temperature checks. Masks. Staggered practice times. COVID-19 tests. Social distancing. Virtual workouts. Limited or no crowds at games. All this and more have become part of athletic programs in our schools and communities.

At Kayal Orthopaedic Center, we understand how difficult it can be for competitors, parents and fans to get used to all of these changes. We are the compassionate, experienced sports medicine team in Paramus, NJ, and beyond that is here to do whatever we can to help our young athletes stay healthy, fit and game-ready because we want them to be able to make the most of their sports seasons. We’re also the team with the exceptional skills and superior training when athletes do suffer orthopaedic injuries. Our goal is to help you recover as quickly as possible without compromising your safety.

A Gradual Return to the Playing Fields

High school sports in New Jersey resumed this summer under a phased-in plan. First, golf, tennis and other non-contact sports were given the green light as long as social distancing measures were followed. Initially, medium- and high-risk sports were only permitted to conduct no-contact, modified workouts. Then, in early July, normal workouts for medium-risk sports, such as baseball, soccer, basketball and softball, resumed. Because they are considered higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, high-contact sports such as football, wrestling, cheerleading, martial arts and rugby were among the last to get the go-ahead to resume contact drills, practices and competitions.

Sports teams in New Jersey must follow new guidelines, which include:

  1. COVID-19 symptom screening for athletes, coaches and staff
  2. Limited equipment sharing
  3. Thorough disinfection and sanitization of all shared equipment
  4. Workouts and games held in outdoor venues only

Under the state’s guidelines, all outside events are limited to 500 people with everyone in attendance required to wear masks. During practices and competitions, however, athletes are exempt from mask requirements.

In this age of COVID-19, athletes of all ages who were forced to stop or curtail their training are dealing with the effects of de-training. In simple terms, de-training means becoming less fit due to changes in your training regimen. Our team of sports medicine specialists in Glen Rock and nearby can help athletes gradually and safely return to their training routines—and competitions.

We Need to Encourage Our Young Athletes

Some young athletes lost entire seasons. Others are dealing with shortened schedules. It’s normal for many of them to feel disappointed and frustrated, especially seniors who didn’t expect their final year of high school athletics to be filled with so much change, confusion and uncertainty. It’s important for all of us, especially coaches, parents and health experts, to allow these kids opportunities to share and deal with their feelings.

Here are a few pointers:

  1. Let them talk. Let them know it’s OK to be sad, frustrated or mad.
  2. Encourage them to channel their frustration into something productive.
  3. Help them to focus on the positives, such as their opportunities to play and compete despite the hurdles.
  4. Help them find ways to stay socially connected and motivated.
  5. Don’t minimize their feelings with comments like: “This isn’t really that big of a deal,” or “Things could be a lot worse.”
  6. Consider scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional if your athlete continues to struggle emotionally.

We are all learning to adjust to this new normal—in the sports world and in all aspects of our lives. At Kayal Orthopaedic Center, we are taking the safety precautions necessary to keep you safe during your visits with us. We also offer telemedicine appointments that are easy, convenient and safe. Call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us through our website.