Importance of the Off Season

Off-season training isn’t just for athletes with hopes of one day playing on college teams, or those competing at a high level. UW Health Sports Performance coach Alison Regal explains that most youth athletes can benefit – although how they approach it and the benefits they gain will be different depending on their age.

To figure out what’s best, it is helpful to understand the different developmental stages.

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We Are Our Own Worst Critics

Our own worst critic

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week (#NEDAwareness), and this year’s theme is “Come as you are.” This theme sends a message to individuals at all stages of body acceptance and eating disorders recovery that their stories are valid. It also speaks to people with body image issues to “be you,” instead of “being the unattainable version of you that the eating disorder voice is urging.” In patients with eating disorders, these unattainable goals are often not limited to weight or looks; many also aim for flawlessness in grades, sports, and other activities. As many of my patients say, “I need to be perfect.” This blog is dedicated to them.

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Going for the Gold?

Sport SpecializationI was going to write about a completely different topic for this week’s post, but I just saw an incredible presentation about sport specialization by UW’s own Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Dr. Brooks was presenting research about whether sport specialization – when an athlete focuses on one sport, usually throughout the year and at the exclusion of participation in other sports – is a healthy and effective way to help youth achieve their athletic goals. In other words, does someone who wants to play in the WNBA have to play in a year-round basketball league before high school (or even middle school)?

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Keeping Kids on the Court

Keeping Kids on the CourtWisconsin basketball has captivated the state over the past few years. The Badgers have enjoyed deep runs in the NCAA tournament, culminating with back to back final four appearances in 2014 and 2015. It is not just college players and fans that love basketball. By age 9, and through age 17, basketball is one of the most popular competitive sport played by boys and girls. A survey done through the United States Tennis Association from 2006-2010 found that 40% of adolescent boys and 25% of adolescent girls play competitive hoops.

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