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Caring for the young athlete: past, present and future
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  1. Neeru Jayanthi1,2,
  2. Joel Brenner3,4
  1. 1Emory Sports Medicine Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Family Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
  4. 4Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Norfolk Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neeru Jayanthi, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, 6335 Hospital Parkway, Suite 302, Johns Creek, GA 30097, USA; neeru.jayanthi{at}emory.edu

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Caring for the young athlete presents many unique challenges. While there is a growing body of research on the needs of elite level athletes, there is still relatively little evidence or specific recommendations addressing the concerns of the young athlete. By numbers alone, most sports medicine professionals actually care for the millions of young athletes, rather than the smaller proportion of university, professional or Olympic athletes.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) is honoured to contribute to this special issue to provide evidence-based and expert perspectives on the specific needs and concerns relating to younger athletes.

What's so ‘special’ about kids playing sports?

A previous longitudinal cohort study of 453 elite young British athletes outlined the positive benefits of sport, while identifying a knowledge gap of when coaches, parents and athletes should initiate intensive training or specialisation in a single sport.1

Recently, multiple organisations have published general recommendations on youth sports training and sports …

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