A resource that can help prevent sports-related injuries

Feb 9, 2023, 5:19 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — In the United States there are more than 3.5 million sports-related injuries for children and teens each year, according to a study from John Hopkins Medicine.

To help prevent injuries and improve overall performance, Intermountain Health has a Sports Performance Center in St. George that helps athletes of all ages.

Brennen Ames is the sports performance coordinator, he said that the overall goal of the center is, “to improve overall athleticism for the athlete, so when they go on the court, diamond, pool wherever they compete they perform at a higher level.”

Ames said the center can help a wide range of athletes starting as young as eight years old.

“We know that by that age they move away from Ninja Turtles and Legos and start to show an interest in sports,” he said.

He said starting young is great for kids, even if they don’t stick with sports.

“Whether they are winning on the field or not, they are building confidence, and we know that confidence translates to other life skills, like better employees, and better in their home,” Ames said.

Andelyn Jensen is a high school soccer player and has been training at the center to help reach her goals.

“I’m trying to get faster so I can beat anyone to the ball and get there first so they can’t score,” Jensen said.

Jensen has been training with the center for weeks, and the center has come up with a personalized plan for her.

“One of the reasons we have her here is to improve her performance, but also reduce the risk of injury because an athlete’s availability to play is just as important as their ability to play,” Ames said.

They do that by building some injury-reduction training.

“We do that knowing that soccer players have a high risk of tearing an ACL,” he said.

A November report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics revealed which activities were most likely to send a young athlete to the emergency room.

The report put soccer at number four on that list.

Jensen is glad she’s been training at the St. George facility.

“It’s always challenging but worth it because you start to see the results and get faster,” Jensen said.

Ames added that the recovery is just as important as the training, so they also offer ice baths and compression boots to help recover.

He said that they also offer training programs for older adults. You can get more information on the Sports Performance Center here.

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A resource that can help prevent sports-related injuries