Daily Dose of Coach #421: Sleep, Inury and Young Athletes

One of the primary areas of performance I try to speak with my young athletes about is sleep.

Because of the pressure of schedules, homework, travel, practice, training, social life, etc., sleep seems to be one of those things that is cast aside.

Add social media to this and a child, when they are supposed to be going to sleep, waste precious minutes scrolling through pages of nonsense. This, all at the cost of preparing for and the act of falling asleep.

A study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics called, "Chronic lack of sleep is associated with increased sports injuries in adolescent athletes," found if athletes don't get eight hours of sleep per night, they are 1.7 times at greater risk of injury than those who do.

This could be due to decreased reaction times and overall cognitive function.

If a young athlete has weekend games, sleep debt can certainly add up over a long week of over-scheduled responsibilities and lack of prioritizing sleep.

Over-scheduled or not, the athlete must commit to placing sleep as a priority. It's not just performance, but the health of the athlete that could be at stake.