A free youth sports symposium Saturday will help parents better understand, not just how to keep their young athletes healthy, but also their weekend warrior-selves, as well.
The free clinic from Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse features an array of doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, coaches and former athletes.
It runs from 8:30-11 a.m. virtually Saturday (sign up here), and is designed to help athletes, parents and coaches better understand how to help athletes reach their potential and limit the risk of injuries.
“So the nice thing is a lot of this stuff is obviously geared toward kids and coaches can pick up on it but, really, there’s something for everybody,” Dr. Jacob Erickson, the co-chairs of the Division of Sports Medicine, Southwest Wisconsin Region, said on La Crosse Talk PM. “And all the parents of any age listening can absolutely take things because, again, we want the parents just as active as the kids and we want them as pain free as possible, as well.”
The symposium will hit a lot of areas of athletics, both mentally and physically.
“So, the whole idea is to talk about how to do sports in a healthy way, to not make it crazy competitive and lose the joy, which leads to burnout, overuse injury and things like that,” Erickson said.
Erickson, an injury prevention specialist, said they’ll talk about understanding pain — both for the athlete and as parents, being in tune to how their kids are feeling.
“Kind of shed a little light on how to listen to your body,” Erickson said. “What’s a small injury, (when) should you really come in to be evaluated and what are some high yield tips and tricks to incorporate into training to prevent some of those bigger injuries.”
Erickson said if an athlete does come into their clinic, it’s basically a buffet of experts.
“The average patient that comes in will see a physical therapist, an athletic trainer and myself and possibly a surgeon if need be,” he said. “Just try to use everyone at the top of their license.
“Sometimes they need to see the doctor. Sometimes they need more time with the therapist. Whatever the individual needs, we just try to maximize their visit — a one-stop shop, so to speak.”
Another thing Erickson might put someone through at the clinic, deals with movement.
“One of the things I’m a big fan of is how the body moves,” he said. “So I’m a big fan of people getting a general mobility screen. That’s one of the things we’ll talk about at the symposium.”