Athletes today are more likely to practice their sports season long with sports camps and more organized events. But more time on the field brings with it a higher risk of suffering sport-related injuries, including knee injuries to ACL and meniscus, or shoulder and elbow injuries to the labrum or UCL.
In this article, I am sharing some injury prevention tips for trainers and coaches to help keep your young athlete on the field, rather than on the sidelines.
Talk with Your Athletes
Make sure your athletes understand that if you experience discomfort or anything that just does not feel right, he or she will talk with you and seek support. I still encourage the engagement of pain-free sports and the activities of my career. Yet some children choose to only push through pain, which can lead to more severe conditions that could have been avoided with early intervention.
Get a Pre-season Physical
A physical preseason or back-to-school is a perfect way to determine whether your young athlete is fit for playing. Sports engineering helps determine any areas of concern for athletes before beginning an exercise, which prevents them from further damaging themselves during play when there is an injury that needs to be addressed.
Light therapy for athletes can open doors to many things an athlete dreams of. One of them is being able to avoid injuries. A lot of sportspersons use LED Red Light Therapy to get a boost in their training, as well as to repair their muscles following the training.
Besides boosting a player’s energy and fixing his or her muscle soreness, light therapy can prevent injuries from occurring.
Athletes must adjust the sports or activities because they do not place the same muscles and joints under constant stress. Trainers should consider limiting the number of teams in which their athlete is on at any given time. It is useful to also regularly change athletes’ routines so that the same muscles are not overused continuously.
Warming Up Helps
Stretching is a useful technique of prevention and should become a routine for all athletes before exercising. I suggest a mix of static as well as dynamic stretching during warm-ups to help loosen and prepare the muscles for play.
Toe touches and stretches are considered static, where you keep the position for a certain amount of time. In contrast, jumping jacks and stretches, where the body tends to move during stretching, are called dynamic.
Make Sure Your Athletes Rest
During workouts, games, and competitions, athletes of all ages need to rest. Sleep insufficiency and muscle exhaustion predispose an athlete to injury, Lee says. In reality, overuse injuries are the most common injuries seen in young athletes — too many sports and not enough rest.
Families should also schedule an off-season for their athlete along the same lines. This allows them some time to heal until next season.
Provide a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and maintaining a regular eating schedule is essential for athletes. For example, having breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at about the same time.
For sports such as wrestling, where the extra emphasis is on the weight of an athlete, parents must always ensure that athletes adopt healthy eating habits.
Emphasize on Keeping Hydrated
Heat-related disease is a real concern of athletes, especially during hot and humid days.
Trainers should ensure that their players have adequate water before, during, and after playing. Try to watch for any signs of a heat-related illness, including tiredness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or fainting.
Get Professional Equipment
Protective gear such as helmets, pads, and shoes are of considerable importance for avoiding injury. Once the season begins, trainers and doctors will speak with coaches so that they have enough time to prepare their child properly once practices start.
Emphasize proper technique and guidelines
There is a right way in any sport and a wrong way to do it. For example, football players should be taught how to tackle an opponent to prevent an injury, and baseball players should be taught how to throw and follow the rules for how many throws to make in one day.
But for that one time, I mostly learn from coaches that they followed the instructions. Sadly, what the competitor has to have a shoulder injury happen one time.
Recognize Injury and Get Help ASAP
I have seen a lot of young people who have significant injuries and have done little with them. And now the harm has resulted in long term implications. To prevent this from happening, we need to get these athletes in to see a doctor beforehand.
If trainers note a difference in the technique of their athlete – such as a limp while running, throwing differently, or rubbing a leg during practice – the athlete will be taken out of play. If the problems persist, the parents should seek their child’s assessment before returning to the activity.
Athletes may change their way of doing things because of pain. However, they can end up sustaining a more severe injury because of it.
When to See a Doctor
- Persistent or new swelling around a joint.
- Consistent pain during or after sports.
- Pain that does not respond to a period of rest.
- Recurrent instability.
- Painful pops as nonpainful pops are okay.
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Taufiq Ul Alam is a Content Executive at PlatinumLED Therapy Lights. With a knack for health and fitness, he tries to learn new information on athletes every day and share with his reader. He is also a Marketing Major Student at the University of Dhaka.