Whether it’s back to the field for football, soccer or Fall band practice, the whole family can coach themselves on injury prevention this season for safer, high-performance play.  It all comes down to knowing how you can get injured, how to condition yourself against injury and being efficient in both practice and competition.

Common Injuries
Running, jumping, changing directions quickly, or trying to outmaneuver your opponent, it’s all part of the game, and it can take a toll on the body. In a split second, a fantastic play can be overshadowed by a pulled muscle, cut, tendon tear, bone fracture, or concussion. In the course of a season, improper training and biomechanical deficiencies can lead to overuse injuries.

No one wants to be sidelined with an injury. Injuries caused by sudden trauma or overuse are common among high school athletes, but with the right training and conditioning, most injuries can be prevented.

Injury Prevention: How It Works
National Strength and Conditioning Asssociation specialist Michael Rosengart, who wrote Prehab Exercise Book for Runners, says, “If you want to run faster, improve your mobility, and reduce your risk for injuries, it’s not just about going all-out in every practice.” “Injury prevention starts with restoring range of motion, activating muscle groups essential to performance, and developing stability to support proper body mechanics.”

Make Prevention Part of Your Routine

  • Warm-Up – Before you do any heavy lifting or quick movements, warm-up your muscles. Jog, cycle, or do aerobics for 15 minutes.  Steady, deep breathing can help open up your body, too.
  • Stretch – Once you’ve invested the time in a proper warm-up, spend 10 to 15 minutes stretching. Basic yoga poses can help you increase flexibility and muscle strength.
  • Practice proper formWhen you’re ready to get your game on, practice proper form. At first, it might seem easy, but as fatigue sets in you’re more likely to compensate with movements that can lead to injury.

If you do get injured, the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method is an effective way to treat many sports-related injuries. If problems persist, see a doctor. Be smart and take a preventive approach to injuries, and you’ll have a successful sports season.

Related links:
Dos and Don’ts of Running in the Summer
Boutique vs. Big Fitness: Tips for Choosing Your Ideal Workout
Yoga Technique for Your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s