Physiotherapists are trained in the evaluation and treatment of injuries and movement disorders, which may include children who have fallen behind their peers athletically. If your child is not good at sports and is falling behind his or her peers due to developmental delays, physical limitations, or injuries, we can likely help to correct them which will lead to a more satisfying and enjoyable sport experience for your child. Here are 3 common areas where physiotherapists can help:
1. Muscle imbalances
Your child may have some muscles that have grown stronger or faster than others. This can create imbalances causing pain, abnormal movement mechanics, or coordination deficits that can affect how well he or she plays. Tight muscles can also cause decreased performance by restricting movements. Over time these imbalances might also create psychological issues with your child and lead them to not want to participate in sports.
A recent or large growth spurt in your child can cause significant coordination issues. Sometimes your child’s body can outgrow their own ability to control it. Imagine what it would be like to go from riding a really small compact car to a large semi overnight! All the main functions are still the same, but it will take time to get to know how to drive such a large vehicle. A growing body works the same. Your child will likely grow out of it…. or more correctly…. in to it, over time. Physiotherapists can also help your child learn his or her new body quicker by challenging the coordination and forcing a quicker learning process.
Your child may not be as fast as the next child or throw as hard for many reasons. And as physiotherapists our goal is not to make your child the fastest runner or throw the hardest fastball at school. But what we will look at is the child’s running or throwing mechanics, posture, alignment, strength, and flexibility, which may give us an indication what physical things may be limiting them and what they can do to correct them.
Whether your child is an average athlete or lags behind his peers, he may also just be a late bloomer. Late bloomers tend to receive less social support and reinforcement from parents, coaches, and peers. So we encourage you to be supportive of your child and praise the effort, not just the results. If you do feel like there are developmental issues please stop by and see us at one of our clinics and we can assess where we can help.