Throughout the years many countless amounts of youth and high school athletes have come through the doors of Healthmark Foot and Ankle. Most of these athletes play sports on club teams, high school teams, or both. Each type of athletic organization is great, the problem that has begun to arise in recent years has been the prominence of club teams over high school teams. Certain club teams among certain types of sports have grown to become important grounds for college scouts, athletic directors, and coaches. So while these individuals used to look for prospective scholarship students at high school league games, they are now focusing a lot on club teams for their potential picks.

The conflict arises for both the player and the parent. The obligations and commitments to both a club team and the team where they attend school has resulted in injuries for many young athletes.

A club league team used to be active during the off seasons of the high schools, that has changed. We see club seasons going longer and overlapping high school pre-season and active season playing. Some clubs demand more out of their players with longer, tougher practices, more personal training, and even tournaments within the school's athletic season (the same holds true for some schools as well). Before, clubs used to respect a high school's athletic seasons and work around them. Now it has evolved into what we call, the never ending athletic year, where club and high school seasons overlap and continue on throughout all four seasons.

Now there is nothing wrong with club leagues, nor is there anything wrong with high school leagues, but the problem arises when the athlete themselves can't keep up. We have seen a rise in injuries, mental exhaustion, poorer grades in school, and personal dilemmas for the young athletes who must choose between their club and their school. Injuries include sprains and fractures, heel problems such as heel spurs, fungal infections such as athletes foot, and strains on other parts of the body directly and indirectly related to the foot, ankle, and leg.

What's important is to consider the seasons ahead of you. Make sure that by playing for a club and your high school, the obligations won't be too strenuous. For some these two leagues are the keys to the future; a good school, a good team, a better athletic career, etc. But it should be taken with considerable thought, your own well being and your health are what should come first because relentless injuries are hard to heal from.

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