With fall athletic seasons just around the corner, it’s a great time
to take stock of what you can do to keep from getting hurt.
• • •
Know Your Risk.Do some research into the most common injuries in your sport. Even your position can play a role in your risk of injury.
Get Geared Up. Before any season starts, make sure your protective equipment and athletic wear is up to date and fits properly – especially if you are playing a contact sport. Helmets should always be worn in football, baseball, softball, and biking. Cleats should be worn in football, baseball, softball, and soccer.
Start Slow. Every practice or exercise session should start with a gentle warm-up. Take a light jog around the field or court even before you stretch. This will loosen your muscles and get them ready for activity.
Train, Train, Train. Participate in a pre-season conditioning program before you jump into any athletic season. It’s best for your body to gradually build up strength and endurance.
Cross-Train. During the off-season, play a different sport or do a different activity. This will make you a more well-rounded athlete and lower your risk of injury.
Check Your Form. Focus on proper technique at practice. Continuing to repeat a movement with poor technique can hinder your performance and set you up for injury.
Know The Signs. Learn how to recognize a concussion, as more than 90% occur without the loss of consciousness. See our article on page 66 to learn more.
Don’t Play Through The Pain. Notify a trainer, physician, or coach if you are dealing with pain. If you’ve been injured, wait until you’ve fully recovered to get back into the game.
Cool Down. This is just as important as your warm-up. A cool down will allow your body time to transition from intense movement to normal activity, help you recover faster, and prevent injury by keeping your blood circulating.
Want to learn more about sports injuries and the best ways to prevent them? Here are some great online resources:
From the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
From the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
From the American College of Sports Injuries