It's exciting to see that injury prevention is finally getting as much attention as sports performance. Yoga can play a part in an athletes overall prevention program through its focus on stretching and deep core strength. Yoga is also an effective way to teach kids how to check in with what is happening in their own bodies. If the first sign of an overuse injury comes in the form of pain, it's often too late and the focus becomes treatment not prevention. Recently, a student was in Childs Pose when he became aware that his left side felt "different" and "tighter" in this symmetrical pose. We used this information in the rest of his session and he is learning to hold poses longer on the tighter side to try and create some balance. I don't know when else he would have had an opportunity to make this discovery if he hadn't taken the time to come to his mat and pay attention to what his body was telling him.
Now is the time to talk to your child's coaches or trainers about their injury prevention recommendations. You can also encourage your athlete to spend time on cross-training and incorporate a yoga class into their week. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has said about his practice, "Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all of the injuries you don't get."