Want to reduce your risk of injury as an athlete? Here’s some quick advice on how to help minimize your chances of getting a sports injury!
1. To be sublime, take your time
If you have a week or two break between seasons use it to rest, your body needs it. Now don’t be a couch potato, stay moving but take a complete break from sports or higher intensity training. Remember, you don’t get stronger while you are working out, you get stronger after but only with rest and a proper diet.
2. Don’t hesitate, it’s no debate
This one should be pretty simple, when you start getting that nagging ankle/back/hip/knee/shoulder pain that has been bugging you for more than a week please go get it checked out. The Athletic trainers, physical therapists, and physicians that work with your team are not there to be mean and immediately pull you from play, they are there to make sure you are playing at your absolute best and also to make sure something minor doesn’t turn into a long-term problem (example: ankle instability/weakness turning into chronic ankle sprains). So please, do your team a favor and go get it checked out.
3. Realize you should NOT specialize
Ok, that was a pretty bad attempt at a rhyme. However, there seems to be a trend recently for kids to play one sport all year in fall/winter/spring/summer leagues and to be the “best” they can be at that sport. Well research is finding this specialization isn’t making kids better, it is actually increasing their risk for injury. This is a BIG issue and has been a pretty hot topic and a reason for concern recently. In a recent study published by the National Federation of State High School Associations, they found that in those who specialize in just one sport were twice as likely (or higher) to sustain an injury requiring time off the field/court/diamond/etc. Why is this? The answer is simple, sports specialization makes you good at ONE thing, ONE movement pattern, ONE set of skills and the moment that you body experiences a challenge outside of the normal movement patterns/skills it does not know how to react and this is where injury happens. Now, imagine you play basketball, football and run track (or any combination of multiple sports), you are constantly training and challenging your body with different movement patterns in many different directions and setting and demanding situations. You are not just strong and skilled with one movement but MANY and your body thanks you for it by being ready in any given situation. This is why so many professional athletes could have gone pro in something other than what they are playing (Bo Jackson, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady, Michael Bennett, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Jordan, etc). Think of it this way, you would not take a car from NASCAR and try to race on a dirt track, would you?
3 Simple Ways to Minimize Sports Injury