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Sports Physicals

Viera Robert
Sports Physicals

What to Expect During A Sports Physical

A sports physical is a short exam designed to evaluate a child’s physical aptitude prior to playing a sport. Unlike an annual physical, a sports physical is more focused on physical health and ability than mental and emotional health.

In general, sports physicals involve the following:

  • Vision test
  • Blood pressure and pulse test
  • Height and weight recording 
  • Posture/fitness evaluation 
  • Organ function checks (heart, lungs, throat, etc.)
  • Questions on medical history 

The sports physical exam does not take very long, typically only lasting between 20-30 minutes. After the physical is complete, your child is free to go about their normal activities.  

Preparing for a Sports Physical

Preparation for a sports physical exam is usually minimal, the child usually only needs to bring comfortable clothing, goggles, and a medical history. It is important that their medical history is accurate and that they answer all questions honestly when it comes to your child's health. Our doctors rely on specific information to help make their diagnoses. 

The Benefits of Sports Physicals

For millions of children every year, physical education is a complete waste of time. They are almost always ready to play. But for parents, doctors, and teachers, physical activity is a useful way to ensure that all children are ready and healthy for their activities.

A sports physiotherapist can help a coach prepare for a particular game. It can reduce injuries by helping to identify important muscle groups for each sport, and supporting them with smart exercises.

Sports Physicals FAQs

What is the difference between a sports physical and a physical exam?

Annual physicals are generally more common than physical sports. Annual medical questions assess the child's emotional, social and physical development. Physical games focus on physical safety and motor skills related to one game.


How often does my child need a sports physical?

Currently, the state of Illinois requires student-athletes to have a sports physical annually if they play sports every year. 

Can a regular physical be used as a sports physical? 

Regular physicals can only be used as sports physicals for children who are in either 6th or 9th grade. All other students will need a sports physical in addition to their regular yearly physical. 

What if my child does not pass the sports physical?

If the doctor doesn’t give your child the initial OK, don’t worry! Usually, the doctor may only need a follow-up check or test to be absolutely sure your child can play safely. It is very unlikely that your child won’t be able to play sports because of a health complication. 

Viera Robert
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