YMCA Personal Trainer Kory Hesseling instructs Joey and Nathan in a group athletic training session.
YMCA Personal Trainer Kory Hesseling instructs Joey and Nathan in a group athletic training session.

An alarming trend of overuse injuries has been surfacing the last few years in young athletes and those injuries are steadily on the rise for several reasons. More kids than ever are participating in school sports and travel leagues which often means year round participation in a sport and athletes are beginning specializing in a sport at a younger age. Year round participation in one sport which means making the same repetitive motions as they play that sport throughout the year without a break which increases the likelihood of overuse injuries.

One way to prevent overuse injuries in young athletes is to have a balanced approach to conditioning that includes all training aspects such as strength, endurance, vertical leap, agility, core strength, explosiveness, first step quickness, hand eye coordination, and speed training. This balanced approach leads to injury prevention, improved performance and improved confidence in the athlete. The Van Wert YMCA offers teams and individual athletes the opportunity to participate in athletic conditioning to improve performance in these training areas.

“The training sessions are designed to improve the overall conditioning of the athlete. We stay away from skill training such as shooting or dribbling a basketball or throwing a baseball, but we develop the training aspects that will help them improve those same skills when working in practice situations with their coaches. Because we are developing conditioning and not skill, we avoid overuse injuries with training sessions. Improved confidence is a byproduct of this type of training and it elevates the athlete’s performance,” said Julie Schaufelberger, YMCA wellness director.

Currently, YMCA trainer Kory Hesseling is working with Hall of Fame Coach Al Welch’s AAU basketball team. The team is comprised of Wayne Trace and Lincolnview students. Other teams that have benefited from Hesseling’s expertise in athletic training include Van Wert’s softball team and men’s tennis team and the Crestview Knights boys’ basketball team participated in a preseason conditioning series prior to their state championship season this year! Individuals can benefit from athletic training one on one with a trainer just as teams can. Anna Temple, whose son Nathan did training, improved his speed and strength and she could see the results in a few short months.

“We decided since Nathan wasn’t going to play basketball that we would have him do training with the YMCA. He trained twice per week for four months and the results were amazing! His body is the most fit it has ever been and his strength and speed are considerably improved. Most of all, his mindset changed. He learned with hard work comes awesome results. We considered taking him to a training facility in Lima, but decided to give the YMCA a try and we are so glad we did. They were so willing to work with our schedule and the results speak for themselves,” Temple said.

Athletes from any sport can benefit in the preseason or offseason from the athletic training and expertise that Van Wert YMCA trainers have to offer. Specialized classes of yoga or cycling can also be set up for teams to participate in if coaches desire. Coaches should contact Julie Schaufelberger at the YMCA (julie@vwymca.org) for team pricing and scheduling availability.