Avoid Injury

Athletes become injured all throughout sports season and even off-season. Every athlete wants to prevent this. It is somewhat avoidable; however, one can only do so much to keep himself from becoming injured. There are many experts at ICS who have either studied some sort of sports science in college or who have had much experience within the athletic field, and can give the athletes of ICS tips on how to avoid injury.

First, Mrs. Fields, the elementary PE teacher and varsity girls volleyball coach, gives us her advice: “Take warm-up and stretching seriously before the game. Keep your muscles warm during the game if you are not in (wear long sleeve/keep moving).”  This can be applied for any sport or exercise activity whether a basketball player, a ballerina, or a swimmer. Deborah Cole, a professional ballerina, said something similar: “Stretching before and after exercise is important. You need to jog or do some sort of warm up to make your body warm enough to stretch [your muscles] out.” It depends on what muscles you are using in your exercise.

If you are participating in a sport, it would be wise to stretch the legs, arms, back, and even stomach. If you are lifting or focusing on muscle-growth, then it is extremely important to be actively stretching, especially the muscles that you are building. It is important that you are drinking water throughout the day and filling your body with nutritious foods. Also, remember to use proper technique while lifting, as well as breathing properly as you workout. This will aid in muscle growth as well as avoiding injury, primarily back injury. For extra tips on this, see the articles listed below. The first one helps with lifting technique, and the second one deals with proper breathing for any kind of physical activity that you are doing.

TECHNIQUE: http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/backpain/ht/lift.htm

BREATHING: http://greatist.com/fitness/how-breathe-every-type-exercise

Ms. Sward, another expert, gives us her opinion. She is the nurse over the whole school, so she knows what she is talking about, especially with the technical ways about avoiding injury.

“Warm-up/Stretch before activity – loose muscles are less prone to injury. Your coach should be able to recommend stretches specific to your sport. You should stay physically active during your off season – jumping into a high level of activity predisposes you to injuries because your body isn’t ready for it. Stay active or return to your sport gradually. It’s also important to vary activities: if you play basketball, try swimming or cycling during your off season. Also, make sure to rest – if you’re not allowing your body to recover, you’ll be more prone to injuries, especially overuse injuries. This includes allowing injuries to heal before resuming your sport. You have to remember to stay hydrated and make sure you get enough electrolytes and calories – this will help prevent muscle cramps, dehydration, and exhaustion. Make sure you use the proper equipment for your sport and that fits well and is in good condition (protective equipment, shoes, etc). Consider extra protection if you’ve had a previous injury. For example, if you’ve had multiple ankle sprains, your doctor might recommend wearing ankle guards.”

Lastly, Taran Estad, an active, wise senior student attending ICS has been participating in sports for many years. She has participated as a major role on both the basketball and volleyball court. She gives her stance about avoiding injuries, “I would suggest not taking any unnecessary risks in the game. Make smart choices and don’t let frustration cause you to lose control and play with too much.”

All of you athletes, listen to your fellow sports peers and respected adults that have both been highly educated and actually know what they are talking about. Remember their tips, train hard, and never give up! However, be careful and remember to listen to your body. If you still want more information, ask your doctor for advice.


By: Rebekah Ditzenberger

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