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Hip Labrum Tear

Physical Therapist’s Guide to Hip Labral Tears

Hip labral tears occur when the labrum, a band of cartilage surrounding the hip joint, is injured. Labral injuries can be the result of trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, but are most commonly caused by repetitive trauma to the hip joint. Individuals who participate in sports that require extremes of motion, such as figure skating, repetitive twisting and “cutting,” like hockey or soccer, or long-distance running are most often diagnosed with labral tears. To treat the symptoms associated with a labral tear, physical therapists typically prescribe a combination of stretching and strengthening activities to decrease irritation in the hip.


What is a Hip Labral Tear?

A hip labral tear occurs where there is damage to the labrum within the hip joint. The hip joint is where the thigh bone (femur) meets the pelvis (Ilium). It is described as a ball-and-socket joint. This design allows the hip to move in several directions. The bony socket is surrounded by a ring of cartilage called the labrum. The labrum provides additional stability to the hip joint.

A labral tear results when a part of the labrum separates or is pulled away from the socket. Most often, a labral tear is the result of repetitive trauma to the hip, either due to running or repeated twisting and cutting.

The consequences of repetitive stress can be magnified in a hip with bony abnormalities. Hip impingement is a condition involving abnormal bony contact between the ball and socket. As the hip is moved into specific positions, this bony contact occurs, placing increased stress on the labrum. (See “A Physical Therapist’s Guide to Hip-Impingement.”)

 

Hip labral tears may result from a combination of several different variables, including:

  • Bony abnormalities in the hip joint (hip impingement)
  • Hip muscle tightness
  • Hip muscle weakness
  • Improper technique with repetitive activities
  • Participation in sports that require distance running, or repetitive twisting and cutting

Once torn, the labral tissue in the hip does not have the ability to heal on its own. There are surgical procedures to remove or repair torn labral tissue; however, treatment for a labral tear often begins with a course of physical therapy.

Nonsurgical treatment efforts are focused on addressing symptoms by maximizing the strength and mobility of the hip to minimizing the stress placed on the injured area. In certain cases, patients are able to achieve a satisfactory level of activity without surgery.

Surgical interventions are available to clean out the hip joint, and repair or reconstruct the torn labral tissue. Following surgery, patients will complete several months of physical therapy to regain function of the hip.

Above Knee Amputation

Hip Labral Tear See More Detail

How Does it Feel?

Pain in the front of the hip or in the groin resulting from a hip labral tear, can cause an individual to have limited ability to stand, walk, climb stairs, squat, or participate in recreational activities. You may experience:

  • A deep ache in the front of your hip or groin, often described by the “C sign.” (People make a “C” with the thumb and hand, and place it on the fold at the front and side of the hip to locate their pain.)
  • Painful clicking or “catching” with hip movements. This creates the feeling of something painful stuck in the hip or blocking hip motion.
  • Pain that increases with prolonged sitting or walking.
  • A sharp pain in the hip or groin when squatting.
  • Pain that comes on gradually rather than with 1 specific episode.
  • Weakness in the muscles surrounding the hip.
  • Stiffness in the hip.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Your physical therapist will review your medical history and complete a thorough examination of your hip, and possibly your lower back and knee. The goals of the initial examination are to assess the degree of the injury, and determine the cause and contributing factors to it. A hip labral tear may be the result of a single injury, but most likely is a condition that develops as a consequence of repetitive irritation in the hip.

Your physical therapist will assess the mobility and strength of your hip, and may watch you walk, step onto a stair, squat, or balance on 1 leg. Your physical therapist will also gently touch the front, side, and back of your hip to determine exactly where it is most painful.

Your physical therapist may also ask questions regarding your daily activities—most importantly, activities that aggravate and relieve your symptoms. Your physical therapist will also ask about your exercise regimens and footwear, to identify other possible contributing factors to your pain.

Your physical therapist may also refer you to an orthopedic physician who specializes in hip injuries for diagnostic imaging (i.e., x-ray, MRI). An x-ray helps to identify any bony abnormalities, such as hip impingement that may be contributing to your pain. An MRI helps to identify a labral tear.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

When you have been diagnosed with a hip labral tear, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a plan to help achieve your specific goals. To do so, your physical therapist will select treatment strategies in any or all of the following areas:

  • Pain management. Many pain-relief strategies may be implemented; the most beneficial with hip pain is to apply ice to the area and decrease or eliminate specific activities for a certain length of time. Your physical therapist will help to identify specific movements or activities that continue to aggravate the inside of your hip joint. Your physical therapist then will design an individual treatment plan for you, beginning with a period of rest, and gradually adding a return to certain activities as appropriate.
  • Movement re-education. Your back and hip may be moving improperly, causing increased tension at the hip joint. Self-stretching techniques may be applied to the lower body to decrease tension and help restore normal motion in the back, hip, and leg. There are, however, certain hip motions to avoid following an injury to the hip labrum. Your physical therapist will carefully prescribe exercises that improve your range of motion, while protecting the area that has the labral tear.
  • Manual therapy. Your therapist may apply hands-on treatments to gently move your muscles and joints to decrease your pain and improve motion and strength. These techniques often address areas that are difficult to treat on your own.
  • Muscle strengthening. Muscular weaknesses or imbalances can be the cause or the result of hip pain. Based on your specific condition, your physical therapist will design a safe, individualized, progressive resistance program for you, likely including your core (midsection) and lower extremity. You may begin by performing strengthening exercises lying on a table, for example, lifting your leg up while lying in different positions. You then may advance to doing exercises in a standing position, for example, stepping on and off a raised platform. Your physical therapist will choose what exercises are right for you.
  • Functional training. Once your pain, strength, and motion improve, you will be able to safely transition back into more demanding activities. To minimize tension on the hip, it is important to teach your body safe, controlled movements. Based on your own unique movement assessment and goals, your physical therapist will create a series of activities to help you learn how to use and move your body correctly and safely. Your physical therapist will also discuss specific positions and activities that should be avoided or modified to protect your hip.
  • Education. Your physical therapist will work with you to identify and change any external factors causing your pain, such as exercise selection, footwear, or the amount of exercises you complete. Your physical therapist will develop a personal exercise program to help you return to your desired activities.

Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?

Maintaining appropriate lower-extremity mobility and muscular strength are the best methods for preventing a hip labral tear.

Unfortunately, the way the hip and pelvis bones of some individuals are structured, the risk of sustaining a labral injury can increase. It is imperative to be aware of any hip pain that you experience, particularly with sitting and squatting, as these are signs of a potential hip injury. Identifying and addressing these injuries early is helpful in their treatment.

Real Life Experiences

Erin is a 27-year-old accountant who is training for an upcoming half-marathon. She runs 5 days a week and also enjoys performing weight training and strengthening exercises 2 to 3 days a week. Over the past 2 weeks, Erin has begun to experience an achy pain in the front of her right hip. Her pain is worse after running, and while sitting in her car and at her desk. She also experiences occasional “catching” in her hip when reaching forward to pick up her 1-year-old daughter.

Erin is concerned about the pain she feels between runs and her inability to sit without discomfort. She is worried about her ability to perform daily activities, care for her daughter, and train for her upcoming race. She consults her physical therapist.

Erin’s physical therapist conducts a comprehensive assessment of her motion, strength, balance, movement, and running mechanics; he gently touches the front, side, and back of her hip to determine the precise location of her pain. Erin describes her typical daily running routine, her stretching routine, and her footwear. Based on these findings, her physical therapist suspects an injury to her labrum within her hip joint.

Because Erin’s hip is so tender, he refers her to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon confirms the diagnosis of a hip labral tear. Erin and her surgeon discuss treatment options and decide her best next step is a 2-month period of physical therapy.

Erin and her physical therapist work together to establish short- and long-term goals and identify immediate treatment priorities, including icing and activity modification to decrease her pain as well as gentle hip-strengthening exercises. Her physical therapist also teaches her a home exercise program to perform daily to help speed her recovery.

Together, they outline a 4-week rehabilitation program. Erin sees her physical therapist 1 to 2 times each week; he assesses her progress, performs manual therapy techniques, and advances her exercise program as appropriate. He advises her on exercise and activity modifications that will enhance her recovery. Erin maintains her daily exercise routine at home.

After 6 weeks, Erin’s hip no longer “catches” when she bends forward, and she only experiences periodic mild discomfort when sitting or running. On the day of the half-marathon, Erin runs pain free—and crosses the finish line in a personal best time!

What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?

All physical therapists are prepared through education and experience to treat a labral injury in the hip. However, you may want to consider:

  • A physical therapist who is experienced in treating people with hip labral injuries and hip impingement. Some physical therapists have a practice with an orthopedic or musculoskeletal focus.
  • A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist, or who completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedic or sports physical therapy. This therapist has advanced knowledge, experience, and skills that may apply to your condition.

You can find physical therapists who have these and other credentials by using Find a PT, the online tool built by the American Physical Therapy Association to help you search for physical therapists with specific clinical expertise in your geographic area.

General tips when you’re looking for a physical therapist (or any other health care provider):

  • Get recommendations from family and friends or from other health care providers.
  • When you contact a physical therapy clinic for an appointment, ask about the physical therapists’ experience in helping people who have hip labral injury or hip impingement.
  • During your first visit with the physical therapist, be prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible, and describe what makes your symptoms worse.

Further Reading

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) believes that consumers should have access to information that could help them make health care decisions and also prepare them for their visit with their health care provider.

The following articles provide some of the best scientific evidence related to physical therapy treatment of labral tears in the hip. The articles report recent research and give an overview of the standards of practice both in the United States and internationally. The article titles are linked either to a PubMed* abstract of the article or to free full text, so that you can read it or print out a copy to bring with you to your health care provider.

Skendzel JG, Philippon MJ. Management of the labral tears of the hip in young patients. Orthop Clin North Am. 2013;44(4):477–487. Article Summary on PubMed.

Edelstein J, Ranawat A, Enseki KR, Yun RJ, Dravotich P. Post-operative guidelines following hip arthroscopy. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2012;5(1):15–23. Free Article.

Groh MM, Herrera J. A comprehensive review of hip labral tears. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2009;2(2):105–117. Free Article.

* PubMed is a free online resource developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). PubMed contains millions of citations to biomedical literature, including citations in the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database.

Authored by Allison Mumbleau, PT, DPT, SCS. Reviewed by the MoveForwardPT.com editorial board.

Congrats to Rachel Wood!

Rachel Wood Begins Soccer Career Abroad

Rachel Wood will be wearing No. 28.

Rachel Wood will be wearing No. 28.

IRVINE, Calif. — The Anteaters’ global reach continues to grow in the soccer world. The latest member: Rachel Wood.

The Laguna Niguel native came home to southern California for her senior season after playing a majority of her collegiate soccer with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Just as quickly as she returned home, she catapulted herself back into the soccer world, this time across the pond in Europe.

Wood has found a spot with Icelandic club HK Kopavogur / Vikingur Reykjavik. The 1,613-seat Vikingsvollur (translated to Vikings Stadium) in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik is home for the club.

The team itself is actually a joint venture between clubs Handknattleiksfelag (HK) of Kopavogur and Knattspyrnufelagio Vikingur of Reykjavik exclusively for women’s soccer that first started play in 2006. They play in the top division of women’s soccer in Iceland called Urvalsdeild after being promoted from the lower division with a second-place finish in 2012.

The club is nine matches into its 2013 season with a record of 1-7-1. The season began in early May and will run until Sept. 9. The club was also a part of this year’s Icelandic Women’s Cup that reached the quarterfinals.

Wood’s first match came on July 1, a 3-0 loss to Afturelding. She started as a midfielder, wearing No. 28, and played 60 minutes until being subbed out.

Wood becomes the fourth Anteater to make the leap to European soccer. Julie Scheppele played for FK Teplice of the Czech Republic in 2005 after playing four seasons at UCI. More recently, goalkeeper Danielle de Seriere and All-American CoCo Goodson each joined FC Twente in The Netherlands. Goodson returned to the U.S. and now plays with Sky Blue FC of New Jersey. De Seriere is still a member of FC Twente.

Fans can track Wood’s and the club’s progress here.

ATFL LIGAMENT INJURY

Tag Archives: anterior talofibular ligament tear

When an “ankle sprain” is not just an ankle sprain…

Were you told you have just an “ankle sprain” but it is not getting better?  Read more to see if you may have one of the other injuries that can occur when you roll your ankle.

Intro and basic ankle anatomy:  Ankle sprains (aka a rolled ankle, inversion ankle injuries) usually implies rolling of the ankle so the foot turns in compared to the leg and this injures tissues on the outer side of the ankle.  This injury is very common in almost any sport and even occurs in non-sporting activities when walking on uneven terrain.  When this happens the person usually falls, feels immediate pain on the outside part of the ankle (lateral) and may or may not be able to put weight back on the leg.  Over the next few hours, swelling and bruising develops and they may still not be able to put weight on their injured ankle.  Over the next few days most people employ protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation (the PRICE principles) and the pain and swelling may improve.  The bruising usually changes to all sorts of pretty colors and the actual bruising (just blood under the skin) may follow gravity and settle down closer to the bottom of the foot away from where it hurts.  Below is a diagram of ankle/foot bones and ankle ligaments for reference so you can see where they are when I speak about each boney injury later in the blog.  The main bones to focus on are the lateral malleolus (bottom of the fibula bone on the outside of the ankle), medial malleolus (inside of the ankle, bottom of the tibia bone), talus (foot portion of the ankle joint), calcaneus (heel bone, connects to talus and rest of foot bones), base of the fifth metatarsal (where peroneus brevis muscle attaches, boney spot on outside part of the foot touching the ground).

Preventing A Calf Strain

Calf Stretch
To prevent a calf injury, stretch and keep your lower leg muscles loose and flexible. The more common upper and lower calf stretches are listed here. Here’s an another calf stretch.

Sit on the floor.
Place your right leg straight out and bend your left leg placing the sole of your left foot against your inner right thigh.
Keep your back straight and bend from your hips towards your extended right leg. Depending on your flexibility, use a towel around the ball of your right foot to pull your toes towards your knee. Otherwise use your hands to pull your toes towards your right knee.
You’ll feel a stretch in your lower right leg, both your upper and lower calf.
Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Repeat stretch on your left leg.
Perform stretch 2-3 times.
To increase the calf stretch lean more from your waist.
Another important thing about preventing calf strains or any injuries is to always stay HYDRATED!!!

Strengthen Your Calf Muscles
Try these simple calf raises to strengthen your calf muscles and reduce your risk of calf injury.

Rise up on your toes and lower back down. Do 10-15 on each leg every day (or every few days) and build up to 30. Stretch your calf, both lower and upper, and Achilles tendon after wards.
If you want more load, move your calf raises to a step. Place the ball of your foot on the step and let the heel hang over the edge. Rise up on your toe and then slowly lower the heel below the step.
Again do 10-15 on each leg and build up to 30. Do these calf raises on your easy run days, not after a speed workout, hills or long run. Your calf muscles have already been taxed enough. Remember to follow with lots of stretching.

You may want to take it even further by holding dumbbells while doing your calf raises.

What Is An ACL Injury?

Why So Many Female Soccer Players Get Them.

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four major ligaments that provide stability to the knee joint. These fibrous bands attach bone to bone and help control excessive motion of the knee joint and keeps the lower leg from sliding too far forward. Of the four major ligaments of the knee, ACL injuries are thee most common. The majority of ACL repairs that occur each year are done on young athletes (under age 25) and female athletes are 76% more at risk.

ACL Knee

What Causes an ACL Injury?

ACL injuries are common in sports that involve sudden changes of direction, such as football, and soccer. Most are non-contact injuries that occur during sudden twisting motion (for example, when the feet are planted one way and the knees are turned another way) or when landing from a jump.

Why Are Woman At A Higher Risk?

The causes of ACL injury have recently been the focus of research. Factors contributing to ACL injuries include ground hardness, grass type and cleat type. But one of the other major findings why women are nearly three times more likely to have ACL injuries than men may surprise you. And some statistics says that a female soccer player is eight times more likely to injury her ACL than a male soccer player.

Researchers believe this is partly due to the differences in hormone levels on ligament strength and stiffness, neuromuscular control, lower limb biomechanics, ligament strength and fatigue. Findings have shown a difference in neuromuscular control in women when landing jumps (women appear to have less hip and knee flexion than men).

How Do I Prevent an ACL Injury?

Athletes can reduce their risk of ACL injuries by performing training drills that require balance, power and agility. Adding plyometric exercises, such as jumping, and balance drills helps improve neuromuscular conditioning and muscular reactions and ultimately shows a decrease in the risk of ACL injury. Many team physicians now routinely recommend an ACL conditioning program, especially for their female players.

The Santa Monica ACL Prevention Project developed an ACL Injury Prevention Program specifically for female soccer players. This 15-minute training program incorporates balance, agility and performance drills into the warm up phase of training and practice.

Phases of the ACL Injury Prevention Program should be performed at least 2-3 times per week during the season and includes:

  1. Warm Up
  2. Stretching
  3. Strengthening
  4. Plyometrics
  5. Agility Drills
  6. Cool Down

The Bottom Line for ACL Injury Prevention
For both men and women who participate in start and stop sports, appropriate skills training such as those in the above program, may be the key to staying injury free.

 

Top 25 Division 1 Colleges For Women’s Soccer 2010

Top 25 Division 1 Colleges

 

Dropped out: No. 20 North Carolina-Greensboro, No. 23 Illinois, No. 25 Hofstra.

Others receiving votes: North Carolina-Greensboro 24, Hofstra 12, Dayton 10, Central Florida 9, Illinois 7, Wisconsin 3, Penn State 2, South Florida 2, James Madison 1.

Voting panel: Kevin Boyd, Arizona State; Anson Dorrance, North Carolina; Jillian Ellis, UCLA; Carin Gabarra, Navy; G Guerrieri, Texas A&M; Steve Holeman, Georgia; Angela Kelly, Tennessee; Brian Lee, Lousiana State; Jeff Leightman, San Jose State; Chris Petrucelli, Texas; Matt Potter, Washington State; Jennifer Rockwood, Brigham Young; Len Tsantiris, Connecticut; Mike Tucker, Dayton; Randy Waldrum, Notre Dame, Mikki Denney Wright, Minnesota.

Voting method: On each ballot, 25 points is awarded for first place, 24 for second place, 23 for third, etc., to 1 point for 25th place.

 

Preparing High School Student-Athletes for College

Lay the Foundation in High School for Academic Success in College

The Important Role of the Parents

Parenting Elite Athletes Successful Parenting Transition to College

Parents of college-bound student-athletes often ask, “How can I best help my child prepare for the academic demands of college?” Whether or not your youngster is planning to compete athletically at the next level, or has been an A or C student, the question is significant.

To help answer that question, we have compiled the following “To-Do” list for parents. These suggestions come from our more than 30 years of teaching and mentoring student-athletes and are drawn from the ideas and strategies of academically successful student-athletes from around the country whose insights were at the core of the research for our recently-published book, The College Athlete’s Guide to Academic Success: Tips from Peers and Profs. We offer these suggestions and quotations of student-athletes from our book to help you provide guidance to your youngster now, while he is still in high school, because now is the time for him to establish good habits, attitudes, and skills, so that when freshman year arrives, he’ll hit the ground running and his academic transition to college will be smoother.

Help them realize they’ve already got what it takes!

Student-athletes possess a host of personal characteristics, traits, and values that have helped them thrive athletically, including discipline, commitment, focus, high energy, work ethic, ability to handle pressure, and resilience … the list goes on and on. Yet, as students, they often don’t realize that these same attributes are transferable to the academic playing field.

As ESPN Academic All-American soccer player and Long Island University valedictorian, David Ledet, says, “School should actually be easier for a student-athlete because we are so well-versed in being disciplined and, just like class, each sport is goal-oriented.”

For parents this means:

  • Calling your child’s attention to the attributes that have helped her excel in her sport (“Hey Jess, great focus-way to get it done!”).
  • Reminding her, when she is studying for an exam or writing a paper, to put those attributes to good use (“Proud of you, Sue; you’ve got that great ability to focus! I love seeing you so disciplined in getting that paper done!”).
  • Helping him recognize those valuable characteristics in himself, value them, and carry them over to his current high school classroom, future college classroom, and throughout life after college.

Encourage a positive academic mindset

Does your teen think of him/herself as a student-athlete or athlete-student? To succeed academically at any school level, it’s critical that family and friends encourage and support a youngster in:

  • Valuing academic goals just as much as athletic ones. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. Think about it: What do most people ask about, especially during the sports season: the grade your son received on a recent term paper, or the number of goals he scored in last weekend’s lacrosse game? What determines how your teen is viewed by her teammates? The amount of time she spends hitting the books in the library or the number of minutes she played in yesterday’s big soccer game? Do teachers and classmates consider your youngster to be a capable, interested, and involved student, or just a “jock”? And when she thinks about attending college, is she thinking about majoring in biology or lacrosse? Becoming an English Lit major, or a soccer player?
  • Developing an identity beyond that of being an athlete. Just as he takes pride in an athletic accomplishment, he shouldn’t be shy about letting others know about achieving an academic “personal best.” Help your child to feel really good about working hard in his studies.
  • Working equally hard as student and athlete. As the saying goes, “No pass, no play.” Merely achieving passing grades in order to maintain athletic eligibility shouldn’t be good enough. When an athlete does the minimum to simply get by in practice or during competition, what happens? They sit! Brandeis University scholar-athlete and basketball player, Audra Lissell, suggests: “Don’t take it for granted that you are an athlete and settle for barely passing grades, or surviving on academic probation. You wouldn’t want to fail on the court, track, or field, so why do so in the classroom?”

Help develop time management strategies and skills

In the words of University of Massachusetts scholar-athlete and swim team captain, Becky Hunnewell, and echoed by just about all of the student-athletes we’ve spoken with, “Time management is the most difficult part of being a student-athlete.”

The ability to manage time and juggle all the academic and social demands of college life is a major challenge for every college student. But student-athletes have far more on their plate than most non-athletes in high school, and when they reach college the plate becomes even fuller, with more intense conditioning and practices, a longer season with more competitions, increased travel away from campus, and other demands.

That is why it is so important, while your child is still in high school, to occasionally remind him about the importance of taking increased responsibility for waking up, scheduling his day, getting to practice, and devoting sufficient time and energy to his studies, but still leave time for chores, employment, and social life.

Staying organized is critical:

  • Suggest active use of a planner, pocket organizer, PDA, or simple 3×5 index cards and daily “to do” lists to independently manage her time and activities.
  • Help her to appreciate that it’s ok to say “no” once in awhile to avoid getting overextended by saying, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t ….” Once your youngster is away at school without you around to be chef, maid, taskmaster or cop, the 24 hours of his day will take on a very new meaning. They (and you) would be wise to start getting used to those changes sooner, rather than later.

Encourage healthy habits

Developing habits of healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and taking responsibility for their own well-being while in high school will pay dividends once your teen transitions to college:

  • Sleep. Encourage development of a consistent sleep routine with 7-8 hours a night. As Judith Owens, M.D., past chair of the Pediatric Section for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is quoted as saying in Brooke de Lench’s book, Home Team Advantage, “Parents spend so much time and money optimizing their children’s success yet the one thing they are not doing is making sure their kids get enough sleep,” Researchers at Brown University found that teenagers need about nine hours of sleep a night but most are only getting about seven. They also found that the amount of sleep affected a teen’s grades: those who get the most tend to get the best grades; those who get the least tend to get the worst. “The greatest challenge for parents is the balance between homework, sports, music and sleep – don’t overprogram your kids so that they give up their much needed sleep.” advises Dr. Owens;
  • Diet. Help your child learn to eat a nutrient-dense diet rather than relying on vitamins or nutritional supplements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food guidance system provides healthy food choices; and
  • Overall physical and mental health. Teach your child to respect his body, see a health professional when injured, and not return too soon from injury. Physical injuries and emotional stress are inevitable for competitive athletes, and healing takes time. No athlete wants to appear weak or let the team down by being sidelined with an injury, and as a result, too many (especially boys) hide their injuries, tough it out and play hurt, or come back from an injury too soon. The same goes for managing stress. It is normal for adolescents and young adults to become overly worried about academic, social or other personal issues. But student-athletes tend to avoid talking about their problems and concerns, and typically try to “suck it up” rather than being seen as weak. Helping your youngster to seek out appropriate resources-including family members-and enabling him to see the value of asking others for help will have carry-over value once he is out on his own.

Make the most of NCAA resources

Since the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) governs most college and university athletics, it’s wise for you, your youngster, his or her high school guidance counselor, athletic director, and high school and travel team coaches to be on the same page about eligibility requirements and the application process.

The NCAA Eligibility Center offers prospective student-athletes and their parents a myriad of essential information and resources, useful phone numbers, and website links, including a 24-page downloadable “Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete” and a “What Do I Need to Do?” list broken down by grade levels, 9 through 12. Whether or not your child is a highly-recruited star athlete, we encourage you to become familiar with the application process and all of the academic and other requirements as they relate to your child’s particular circumstances so that you can proactively support his efforts and provide him the necessary guidance and information. Unfortunately, you can’t sit back and assume that everything will be taken care of by others.

We wish you all the best on the wonderful journey with your child from high school to college!