Understanding the Basics of Sports Medicine

Sports medicine is usually not a separate medical specialty itself. Rather, most sports medicine specialists are trained in internal Medicine, trauma, pediatrics, family practice, or any other specialty. They then receive additional specialized training in sports-specific treatments. Others specialize only in treating sports-related injuries in young children and adolescents, whose developing bodies are often very different from those of more mature adults.


Children, who begin playing sports at an early age, will generally have been actively encouraged to play sports since they were very young. Some may even have received sports training as a way of being socially accepted, or simply as a way to have fun. Some children have a natural enthusiasm for sports, while others need more structured training in order to participate successfully. The intensity of the training will vary, with some players having more difficult sessions than others.

Football is one of the most popular sports among youth, but not all youth athletes are equally talented. In order to be as successful as possible, athletes should follow a strict schedule that includes stretching exercises, strength training, and cooling down between games. Many coaches will discourage players from engaging in excessive contact during practices and games, particularly football. But even when players are allowed to participate in football-type activities, they should never perform more than 45 minutes at a time. Even the slightest discomfort can cause permanent injury. To stay healthy, athletes should always warm up before sports, stretching and warming down after.