FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- From swimming to baseball and everything in between -- Spring sports will soon kick into high gear across the Valley.
"If your youth athlete has been not playing sports in this previous winter season, you'll of course just want to work on conditioning and easing back into full-speed activity," Dr. Anthony Yu said.
Once the season has kicked off, he said conditioning should continue on a daily basis.
"Use the weeks of practice before a game, start to train your body to be ready for that level of competition," said Dr. Yu.
As an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Fresno, Dr. Yu said sports specialization is becoming more common for young athletes. This is when they focus on a single sport year-round.
According to the doctor, these types of athletes are more prone to physical injuries and psychological stress -- compared to other athletes.
Rest and recovery are the best ways to prevent that.
"We're seeing a lot of these minor injuries then become these kinds of chronic ongoing issues that may put the athlete at risk of missing a significant amount of time, or maybe unfortunately, needing a surgery," he said.
Lately, his office is seeing young kids and teens coming in with serious injuries.
"Ten-year-olds are just being thrown into these higher levels of competition, and they're just logging a lot of hours," Dr. Yu explained. "We're seeing injuries that maybe we would expect to see in somebody in their 30's or 40's in our teenage population, and it's alarming."
According to Dr. Yu, the most important rule to follow is make sure athletes are still having fun. Once the joy is gone, burnout will soon follow.