Athletics can be defined as a collection of competitive activities or events that involve throwing, jumping and running. (Ronald and Brent, 2007) This track and field event requires participants to have skills, stamina and fitness. Training in athletics is an act of preparing athletes for practice or competition and also determine the best course of action in regard to the health and welfare of an individual. As noted by Ronald and Brent (2007) a certified athletic trainer should possess the general knowledge of the human anatomy and health, performance and adequate skills through training and education.
Generally, certified athletic trainer should be willing and able to apply the following roles: Responsible and development of athletics, administer and organize health care, rehabilitation, treatment and reconditioning, immediate care of injuries, proper assessment, evaluation of extent of injuries and illnesses, prevention of athletic injury and managing their risks. Overtraining in youth athletics is therefore the act of the athlete being pushed too hard and too fast by their coaches. This makes the athlete to begin lose interest and lack benefit associated with the work he or she is doing.
It results when the body can no longer adapt and recover adequately from the side effects of training for long hours over lengthy seasons. To avoid overtraining the following variables need to be applied. Choice of exercise should be done wisely considering ones ability. Order of how the exercise will be carried out. The number of sets, sessions, and exercises should also be put in consideration. Then how often an exercise, sets or sessions should be carried out. The frequency should be low but consistent.
Lastly, the athlete should be allowed to rest between the sets. Ronald and Brent, 2007) However, training variables can be altered and make sure training volume and intensity balances i. e. when the volume is greatest, the intensity should be low and vice- versa. Overtraining in youth athletics may result to numerous signs and symptoms. However, we need to know that not all of those signs and symptoms occur and the occurrences of these symptoms does not automatically suggest or mean that the victim is over trained. To look for a clear indication whether an individual is over trained is to consider whether the overall performance is impaired.
Though the performance may be affected by a number of factors, overtraining contributes to a large extent. Signs and symptoms can be categorized into five, major categories namely immunology, physiological, psychological, biochemical and performance. (Ronald and Brent, 2007) Immunology This is where the trainee experiences consistency in illness or increased rate of illness. Another ailment arises one after another and sometimes the trainee may be suffering from different ailments at the same time. The healing duration also prolongs and this makes the health of the trainee to deteriorate even further.
This has negative effect especially for students who are also expected to achieve academic goals apart from training in athletics. Also immune function becomes impaired such that the trainee can take too long for example to heal a wound and also being affected by change of weather especially the cold and chilly seasons. For the high school students this has negative effects mostly in their academic performance. (Judith, 2003) Learners therefore need to be advised on how to take care of their health especially when they are training in athletics.
This may include taking balanced diet food and dressing appropriately depending with the weather. Consultation of the doctor is also important for medical check up on regular basis. Physiological Overtraining may lead to increased metabolic rate and this contributes to the body losing a lot of calories as well as water. Athlete is therefore recommended to take a lot of fluids and discouraged to exercise when the weather is excessively hot unless need arises. Eating and sleeping disorder is another symptom where trainees lose appetite of food and stay awake for the better part of night.
This results in health deterioration. As for the women, they experience menstrual disruptions whereby they may miss their menstrual periods for some months. Headaches and intestinal distress is also associated with overtraining. Trainee normally experiences severe and persistent headaches and stomach upsets. Muscle damage may be as a result of overtraining and trainee who experiences this may be regarded as over trained. Overtraining can also lead to joint aches and pains especially legs and arms. They also experience disruption of respiration pattern, heart rate as well as blood pressure.
Normally heart rate increases as well as the level of blood pressure. (Michelle and Naama, 2004) Lastly, a trainee experiences decreased body fat and loss of weight. This contributes to lack of interests in training. Trainee consequently becomes weak to practice and the end result might be withdrawing from the sports or reduce frequency of doing the exercises. If the learner shows any of these signs or symptoms then medical attention is inevitable though training precautions should be taken and learner reminded occasionally.
Psychological Over trained individual may suffer from depression which is a serious disorder for it can result to organs paralyzing. They also suffer from mental torture which leads to stress. This condition should be treated early enough because long term effect can be disastrous to the extent of the learner going nuts. They are normally stressed such that even their thinking ability becomes dismal. Lack of confidence in performance a condition regarded as self-efficacy is also a symptom.
To them they believe that they cannot perform as expected to and this is a result of overtraining. This condition however can be corrected by encouraging them to compete and also appreciating the little achievements they made. (Michelle and Naama, 2004) Research has also shown that overstrained individuals lose or rather their ability to concentrate decreases. Concentration is for a short period before they lose interest in everything. Due to straining, trainee loses confidence in them or their self-esteem decrease and they tend to withdraw from other members of society.
They prefer to carry their burden alone and they do not want to seek solutions for their problems from the concerned body like the peer counselors or experts. Biochemical Muscle glycogen of over trained individuals is affected and decreases to unsuitable levels. There is also experience of free testerone, a condition that hampers their performance. They also suffer from iron deficiency related illness for the iron in the body decreases. This means they should be provided with iron giving food like liver and any other variety. Nitrogen balance in the body is affected negatively.
Performance This is a vital factor that portrays whether an individual is over trained or not. Over trained individual show decreases in performance as opposed to those who are not. They also show no sign of training tolerance and sometimes they fail or miss training deliberately. Lack of motor coordinator may be experienced when one is over trained. Trainee may not respond accordingly due to the fact that the organs may not be functioning normally. As for the technical faults, they increase and trainee may perform poorly due to undergoing strenuous exercise.
When the performance is impaired then we can say that an individual was over trained. (Robert and Daniel, 2006) To recognize these problems, then we need to scrutinize the overall performance of an individual and also put in consideration the other four categories of signs and symptoms. A track record of performance should be keenly followed and noted where it is deviating from the normal. Apart from performance the behavior of an individual should be put into consideration. Change of behavior should be addressed immediately and investigate whether an individual is over trained.
The behavior change is usually negative whereby trainee may seem to exhibit funny behavior like not actively participating in the classroom time. Sudden drop in class work performance as well as not attending classes. It has also been noted that over trained high school learners tend not to cooperate to their teachers as well as their fellow students. They normally direct their stress and problems emerging from overtraining to other individuals in the school. Trainees tend to experience severe aches and also suffer from different ailments.
Over trained individuals may sustain physical injuries which can be either internal or external. We should always remember that the occurrence of any of these symptoms and signs does not automatically suggest that an individual is over trained as said earlier. (Robert and Daniel, 2006) Having identified the signs and symptoms of overtraining, the solution should be found. The following steps can be applied to correct the problem. To start with, make sure that recovery days are added in each and every training programs schedule to avoid overtraining and stick to the schedule.
Different exercise should be introduced to avoid monotonous training. The number of sessions, exercises, sets and training intensity should be inversely related. This means when the training volume is high or more then the training intensity should be low or less. Individuals who are failing in certain exercises should be provided with different sets. If they fail once again, then the trainer should be flexible and introduce a different way of practice. By this, they will have obeyed the interest of the trainee. Overuse of certain muscle or joints continuously should be avoided at all costs.
This will prevent muscle damage. Also excessive use of eccentric muscle activities should be avoided. Last but not the least one should consider other exercise which can be helpful in training. Briefly let us look at how the problems of overtraining up in high school athletics will affect their overall performance. We should realize that the ultimate goal of a high school student is to excel in academics and athletics is extra-curricula activity. Overtraining in high school athletics will have a negative impact in that students will not concentrate in class when they are tired and strained. Michael, 2002) Secondly due to the frequent ailments they may be out of school on medical grounds and this will affect their performance. When student is depressed or stressed they tend to withdraw or isolate themselves from the rest and this will hamper their performance. All those problems will also bring about increase in expense be it for school or any other expenses incurred. Teacher – student relationship will also be affected and in most cases students becoming rebellious and stubborn.
Research carried out showed that overtraining syndrome can be prevented or treated effectively to enhance athlete self esteem and increase their overall performance. The coaches or trainer need to apply all the necessary measures and precautions to prevent cases of overtraining. (Michael, 2002) Some of the measures that certified trainer need to carry are:
• Developing and implementing conditioning programs, • Managing risks that might occur, • Implementing treatment and rehabilitation programs, • Evaluating injuries It is also vital for the high school learner to receive instructions or taught about the fundamental aspects of athletics. The course work should encompass the following domains; • Overall medical conditions and disabilities • Strength and conditioning • Prevention and assessment of injuries or illness • Weight management and body composition • Legal issues and medical ethics (Michael, 2002)
In conclusion, we can depict that both the learner and the trainer having acquired general knowledge of training in athletics then cases of overtraining will be minimal and this will enhance the learner’s performance in athletics
Courtney from Study Moose
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