Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Neurodevelopment of the Pediatric Athlete: Concepts for Pediatricians

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Neurodevelopment of the Pediatric Athlete: Concepts for Pediatricians

Article excerpt

Appreciation of the neurodevelopment of the Pediatric Athlete and how this development influences sports participation is important for clinicians to provide parents, coaches, and sports organizers with useful information about how to select activities for their children that will have a positive impact on their overall growth and development as well as optimize their benefit from sports play. The term neurodevelopment defines the synthesis of numerous functions of the pediatric athlete and is considered in this presentation.

Anecdotes of child prodigies who began a specific sport before age three stimulate parents to question whether or not they also should be placing their very young children in such aggressive training programs. The participation of these athletes in sports-related activities plays a considerable role in the lives of millions of parents and children in countless numbers of countries. Many professionals recommend the pediatric athlete for sports participation as a means of physical skill building, socialization and a way of teaching pro-social behaviors.

In order to effectively engage in and benefit from such sports activities, pediatric athletes need to have mastered miscellaneous fundamental skills. Neurodevelopment refinement is critical for the pediatric athlete to go from sports participation to enhance healthy growth and development while optimizing participation at a competitive level. At this level, skills must be highly developed which severely limits who can be involved in competitive sports as well as who excels and are eligible to play at a non- professional championship or professional level. …

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