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Injury Prevention in Young Athletes

Injury Prevention in Young Athletes

Time off: take at least 1 day off a week to give your body time to recover for the coming week.

Take breaks: during practice sessions and games to reduce risk of injury and prevent heat illness.

Use the correct gear: this should be right for the sport and fit properly, for instance pads for neck, shoulders, elbows, chest, knees, and shins, as well as helmets, mouthpieces, face guards, protective cups, and/or eye wear. And don't assume because you are wearing protective gear you can perform more dangerous and risky things.

Drinking regular fluids should be an important part of your exercise regime.

Drink plenty of fluids: before, during and after exercise or play to avoid heat illness; wearing light clothing also helps. Coaches and trainers should reduce or stop practices or competitions when heat or humidity is high.

Build muscle strength: do your conditioning exercises before games and during practice to strengthen the muscles you use during play.

Increase flexibility: by stretching before and after games and practice.

Use the proper technique: coaches and trainers should reinforce this during the playing season.

Play safe: coaches and leaders should enforce strict rules against headfirst sliding (eg in baseball), spearing (football), and body checking (ice hockey), and stop the activity if there is any pain.

They also advise coaches and parents to consider the emotional stress that the pressure to win can cause for a young athlete, and recommend they adopt these principles.

"Young athletes should be judged on effort, sportsmanship and hard work. They should be rewarded for trying hard and for improving their skills rather than punished or criticized for losing a game or competition. The main goal should be to have fun and learn lifelong physical activity skills."


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