According to a recent Mayo Clinic study of youth sports injuries by the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Department, more than 3.5 million youth and teen sports injuries occur every year, and specialists believe most of those injuries could be avoidable.
A leading culprit? Technique, or how we move, is a major contributor in youth sports injuries. Furthermore, repeating those improper techniques often has long-term ramifications for bodies well into adulthood.
“It is important to have proper sport technique and sports movement patterns to help prevent injury and to optimize rehabilitation from an injury,” said Dr. Edward Laskowski, co-director of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine and Mayo Clinic study researcher. “It is not practice that makes perfect but perfect practice makes perfect. If we practice the same bad movement pattern over and over again, a suboptimal motor program is trained into our system, and that can raise the risk of injury and decrease sports performance.”
Severna Park resident Ray Terry, a small business and nonprofit development consultant, authored a series of five books aimed at teaching kids, and their parents, the importance of movement in sports and in life. “How We Move,” the first in the series of five, will be available in December.
Terry began writing his books in 2018 when he was with Foot Doctor Sports, a group of professionals and trainers that worked with young athletes to improve speed, agility and overall sports performance. Terry worked with world-renowned experts to write the training materials used by the Foot Doctor trainers.
“You can retrain subconscious with the conscious, but the best way to train a good subconscious is from the beginning,” said Terry, whose book is written for children ages 2 to 6. “We can help athletes get better from repeat injuries or rehabbing from injuries, but it’s much better to prehab.”
Terry, a former competitive weightlifter who competed at nationals while at Severna Park High School, currently walks with a rollator walker with a seat. He struggles with spine and muscle issues after years of misuse and skeletal compensations for poor and improper techniques. He said chronic diseases — including muscular-skeletal abnormalities and obesity — are devastating Americans, and those complications start with posture and movement.
Terry said he’s suffering through it right now.
“If someone had taught me how to move properly or how to lift properly, I might not be in the position I am now,” said Terry, who is in physical therapy to retrain his muscles. “Over time, moving dysfunctionally has made my movement worse. My muscles don’t work properly, but they can be retrained.”
Terry is passionate about teaching kids proper technique from a young age, and to help them, and their parents, understand that every movement they make is training; it’s important to make sure that movement is done properly.
“How We Move” is available for preorder through Kickstarter at bit.ly/howwemove and for purchase on Amazon in December. The book will also be at the Severna Park Library, where it will be read to children during story time. The second book in the series, “Squat, Jump and Build Your Rump,” will be released in January.
Terry said there are four additional books in the series, which will be released through his publishing company, Young Athletic Movement, in a staggered schedule throughout 2024. In addition to “How We Move” and “Squat, Jump and Build Your Rump,” Terry has written “It’s Fun to Run,” “How We Recover” and “What We Know About H2O.”