Sports Injury Prevention: Nothing Is Fool-Proof, But Worth Trying
Although sports are sometimes unpredictable, most injuries can be, and should be, prevented. After all, no athlete wants to be side-lined because of an injury.
The chance of an injury can be significantly reduced by:
- Maintaining off-season training even though athletes do not compete during off-season. Without training, muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons all become weaker leading to an increased risk of injury later on.
- A proper warm-up will increase blood flow and body temperature both of which improve the elasticity of tissue.
- A proper cool-down will reduce the chance of stiff and sore muscles.
- Following the rules of the sport which in many cases are designed to reduce dangerous moves (e.g. charging head first in football).
- Proper strength training to assure that the athlete can perform the moves required.
- Proper flexibility training.
- Avoiding over training especially in young athletes.
- Special training is needed when training athletes especially young athletes whose bodies have yet to fully develop.
- If you are a coach and do not have such training then bring someone in who can assist.
- Always listen and watch athletes for signs of over training or injury.
- Do not push athletes beyond their capabilities or beyond what they feel comfortable doing.
Notes about Training Children
As mentioned before, it is important to be aware that a child’s body is not fully developed. As a result:
- Their bones can be soft and may bend.
- Sometimes the tendons are stronger than the muscles which can lead to tears.
- Excessive resistance training can lead to damaged growing bones or damage to growth plates.
- Children should never do weight training because they lack the hormones to build strength or muscle and the risk of injury is high.