Soccer dad Dan Carter joins chorus calling for sideline parents to chill

All Black great Dan Carter's 7-year-old son opts for soccer and is a massive fan of Lionel Messi. Picture: STUFF SPORTS

Soccer dad Dan Carter is among a roll-call of sporting greats calling for sideline parents to chill, amid reports of teens training their bodies to ruin.

New Zealand soccer legend, now a physiotherapist at Mount Albert Grammar School, Maia Jackman said she was seeing an increasing number of teens with over-training injuries.

“The kids are coming in with a lot of over-training injuries – sore knees, sore ankles, sore backs – they just don’t have the time to rest because there is not that time allowed for their bodies to recover.

“We are seeing injuries we haven’t seen before, so it is getting worse.”

She told Stuff the problem appeared to be linked to coaches and kids pushing too hard but also parents getting children to specialise in one sport too early in life, which put stress on specific parts of their bodies.

She knew of one 15-year-old who was training 25 hours a week across rowing and football. While she had done similar training in the top-tier of sports, that was not entirely physical, whereas the 15-year-old’s was.

Her own daughter Kaea, now 5, was showing an early interest in soccer but also gymnastics. Jackman wouldn’t be pushing her towards any sport and would encourage a variety.


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