American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release Jun 06, 2006

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS:  Investigators at the University of Washington recently studied the season conditioning pattersn of competive high school athletes. Preseason training is an important aspect of athletic participation in many sports, and usually involves a combination of strength, endurance and flexibility conditioning. There is some concern that many scholastic athletes may be entering their athletic seasons with suboptimal conditioning, which may put these athletes at a competitive disadvantage and possibly at increased risk for injury. However, until the University of Washington study, there has been little information available about the preseason preparations of high school athletes. Dr. Alison Brooks, a Robert Wood Johnson scholar at the university, presented findings from this study at the Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) earlier this month in Miami.

Dr. Brooks and her colleagues surveyed over 450 high school track and soccer athletes about the amount and type of training they perform in preparation for their upcoming athletic season. Although ninety percent of the athletes participated in some form of preseason conditioning, only one-third reported sufficient training in all three primary components (strength, endurance and flexibility). Student athletes who received pre-season assistance from their coaches were twice as likely to be adequately conditioned than those who did not receive assistance. Dr. Brooks states, “These findings highlight the need for school- or coach-sponsored preseason programs to ensure all athletes have adequate conditioning.” In addition, she notes that coaches, parents and athletes need to understand the importance of preseason conditioning and age-appropriate training in scholastic athletes. Dr. Brooks’ research group intends to look at the role preseason conditioning may play in injury risk in high school athletes, which is another understudied area in youth sports participation.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was organized in 1991 by physicians who recognized the need for an organization within the field of sports medicine that approached athletes, exercising individuals, and teams comprehensively with consultative and continuous care of their orthopedic, medical, nutritional, and psychosocial issues. Although sports medicine concepts are often thought of in conjunction with professional and elite athletes, these concepts apply to athletes of all levels including grade school, high school, college and recreational athletes. AMSSM iscomprised of over 1000 Sports Medicine Physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

© The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
Leawood, KS 66211
Phone: 913.327.1415

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