Full length portrait of an injured soccer football player on crutches isolated on white background

3 Ways To Stay Busy When You’re Injured

When you live for your sport, an injury is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Here are a few suggestions of ways to keep busy when you’re counting down the days until you can play again.

Injuries are an annoying set back. That goes without saying, right? If you live for your sport, there is truly nothing worse than an injury. All of a sudden, you have nothing to do but be in pain and wish you were playing on the team. Sports injuries give you a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out), no doubt about it. So, what can you do to keep busy and stop yourself going crazy when you’re stuck on the sidelines with an injury? Here are three ideas:

Reflect

It’s not often you get the time to sit back and take stock of your life. Your game is strong, your technique is good but there are always things you could improve. An injury, frustrating as it may be, gives you the time to analyze your game. Where are you going wrong? What could you do differently? How can you work towards that goal? It might not sound like much fun, but this injury could actually be a blessing in disguise, if it helps you to improve your game.

Keep Up With Your Exercises

It’s really important that you listen to your healthcare provider to allow yourself the best recovery possible. Speak to your healthcare provider for advice on exercises that will encourage your body to heal and help prepare you for your return to your sport. Do these exercises as often as your doctor advises and make sure they become a part of your regular routine. If you have a bad injury, the exercises may be minimal and seem pointless but it won’t be long before your doctor suggests increasing the amount you do. Remember, your doctor knows best. It may be frustrating having to rest but rest is important in ensuring optimum recovery.

Stay Positive

This isn’t easy, especially when you’re desperate to get back in the game. Having an injury can feel like torture and not just because of the physical pain. It’s that drive to play when all you can do is watch. It’s tough and it’s easy to get swept into a negative way of thinking. Don’t let that happen. Stay positive. Accept what’s happened, there’s nothing you can do now to change it. Yes, it’s hard that you can’t play but there are positives, too. It will give you a chance to focus, to rebuild, and to enjoy the other aspects of your life. See your friends, hang out with your brother, make weekend plans you can’t usually enjoy because you’re playing matches.

How do you keep yourself busy (and positive) when you’re suffering from an injury?

7 Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Child’s Risk Of Injury

All parents worry about their children getting injured. As the parent of a sporty kid, you might find yourself worrying about this more than most. You’ll be pleased to hear there are simple steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of injury on the field.

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is seeing your child get hurt. Even just a graze on the knee can be heartbreaking to witness, and most parents would swap places with their child in a heartbeat to protect them from pain.

All children suffer the odd injury, and this risk is increased if your child spends a lot of time doing physical activity. That doesn’t mean you have to simply accept that accidents will happen? Well, there are things you can do to try and keep your child safe from injury. Here are seven steps you can take to reduce your child’s risk of injury on the pitch:

#1: Trust the Coach

This is probably one of the most important steps you can take to keep your child safe. The coach will be responsible for your child’s welfare during games and practices, so make sure you can trust the person coaching your child’s team. The coach should be properly trained in best practices, as well as being first aid trained.

#2: Check The Equipment

Don’t just join the team closest to your house; make sure it is a reputable one. If you’re happy with the coach’s commitment to safety, next it’s time to check the equipment. Does it look safe? Is it regularly monitored for wear and tear? Is the pitch in good condition? These are all important questions to ask yourself before selecting a team for your child to join.

#3: Use The Right Kit

Hand-me-downs might save you money, but they could be putting your child in danger. When it comes to footwear and protective gear, your child needs to have gear that fits properly. A badly fitted helmet will not provide the same level of protection as one that is the right size for your child.

#4: Use Sunscreen

Sunburns may not sound like a sports injury, but many children play sports outside without wearing sunscreen. Sunburns can leave your child in pain and cause a lot of discomfort. If your child constantly plays without applying sunscreen he or she will also increase their risk of more serious skin conditions later on. Sunscreen is an important part of protecting your child during outdoor sports.

#5: Warm Up and Cool Down

Warming up before a game, and taking the time to cool down afterwards, can protect your child’s muscles from injury. Make sure warming up and cooling down is a part of your child’s regular sports routine. Speak to the coach to make sure that they are warming up safely, and that the team cools down together after each session.

#6: Stay Hydrated

We all need to drink extra water when we exercise. One hour of exercise means you need to drink an extra six-ounce glass of water. If you don’t have water at hand, it’s all too easy to forget this. Dehydration is serious and could leave your child feeling unwell, especially in warmer weather. Make sure you send your child with a bottle of water to each game, so she can have it nearby when she gets thirsty.

#7: Rest

Rest is very important for young athletes. Make sure your child gets enough time each day to wind down and rest. If he’s rushing from one activity to another all day long, he’s more likely to feel tired while playing and is more likely to make a mistake that can result in an injury. If he does sustain an injury, make sure he rests until he is fully recovered. Rushing recovery can backfire, leading to an even longer recovery time when a secondary injury is incurred.

 

Helping Your Child Recover From A Sports Injury

 

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Synopsis: Seeing your child in pain isn’t easy, and while you may not be qualified to take care of your child’s sport injury, there are plenty of things you can do to help his recovery. As your child’s biggest fan, it’s your job to get him out on the field again.

Seeing your child in pain and unable to do the things he loves is never going to be easy. Whether he’s suffering from a sprained ankle or broken bone, you will want to make the recovery process as easy for him as possible. You probably know yourself that recovering from an injury can be tough even as an adult, so you can imagine how it much more frustrating it must be for your child! Here are a few things you can do to help your child have a better recovery:

#1: Seek professional help

Even with the smallest injury, there are things the patient can do to aid recovery. It could mean avoiding certain positions, doing regular strengthening or just keeping weight off it, but a professional is best placed to give advice. Your child’s coach may be able to help, but you could always ask your doctor for advice too. By following medical advice you could speed up recovery.

#2: Following the advice

One of the problems most patients face is that they feel recovered before they really are. As soon as your child feels able to play again, he’s going to want to get out on the field. Putting the body under stress too soon, however, could lead to even more problems. If a doctor has advised six weeks away from the game to allow for a full recovery, it’s important you stick to this. Help your child to understand the importance of letting his body heal properly, after all, another injury could see him out of the game for even longer next time!

#3: Deal with any anxiety and build confidence

If your child suffered a sports injury during a game, he might be feeling anxious about the idea of playing again. He may also be lacking in confidence, especially if he took a tumble in front of the team. Let your child speak openly and honestly about how he feels, and be careful not to dismiss his feelings. Help him overcome the feelings of anxiety by reminding him of how much he enjoys the game. When he does start playing again, make sure you’re there with plenty of compliments to help rebuild his confidence and remind him that he’s a valued part of the team.

#4: Keep up the social side

Being a part of a team isn’t just about sports, there are huge social benefits to it too. Your child’s teammates are probably some of his closest friends, and he may be feeling left out if he’s unable to play for a while. It can be tempting to lock yourself away so you don’t have to watch from the sidelines as all your friends have fun on the field, but it’s important to attend games. Your child will find it much easier to transition back into the team if he’s kept up the social aspect during his recovery. Take him along to the games, and make sure he still goes to any social events or hangouts the other kids might be having.

 

 

The Rise of ACL Injuries in Youth Athletics

Concussion prevention should not be the only prevalent topic in regard to injuries affecting youth and adolescent athletic participants. The number of young athletes damaging the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) has increased significantly over the last 15 years. Parents, coaches, and youth athletic organizations must take steps to correct this problem.

Of the four ligaments which connect the bones of the knee and provide stabilization during movement, the ACL carries the biggest workload. Orthopedic surgeons nationwide have seen as much as a 400 percent increase in ACL injuries over the past decade. These medical professionals point out today’s youth athlete is subject to an increased amount of participation hours compared to similarly aged athletes of earlier generations.

Example: Consider the athletic participation by the average high school soccer player. Children as young as four begin their organized soccer experience. There are fall and spring seasons, as well as indoor soccer sessions. In theory, the body of a 16-year-old may have been subject to 36 soccer seasons during the 12 year span. The same can be said of other ‘year round’ sports such as volleyball and basketball. Children playing baseball or softball are involved in seasons running from early spring through late summer, and those same players will then participate in fall leagues lasting one to two additional months.

For decades, many youth athletes would participate in shorter seasons which allowed them to play two or three different sports during the year. Athletic organizations are now pressuring prepubescent and adolescent athletes to specialize in a single sport at an earlier age. The age of specialization has created an increase in repetitive, or ‘overuse,’ injuries to youth participants. Whereas a change in sports meant a change in how an athlete’s body was being used, the single-sport athlete now uses the same muscle groups continuously throughout the year.

Some doctors worry the way children are now being trained for a sport is too harsh for the undeveloped body. Many youth coaches use the same training approach as is used with professional athletes. A child’s body is not fully developed and injuries to such areas as the ACL come into play. Teaching the proper fundamentals to young athletes does not have to include training sessions geared for an adult’s body.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons believes more studies are necessary to improve the knowledge of injuries occurring to youth athletes. An increase in proper conditioning can reduce the injury numbers. In the case of older children and adolescents, strength training programs need to focus on muscle efficiency and strength. This differs tremendously from adult-oriented bulk strength training.

Just because youth athletes play multiple sports does not guarantee a lesser chance of an ACL or other serious-type injury. Rest also plays a huge part into recovery time for a child’s body. Consider placing the child on a less competitive league, or one which has a lesser amount of games for the season. There is also nothing wrong with a child taking a break from a sport. Giving up fall baseball or indoor soccer may lead to an overall healthier environment for a youth athlete.

This research coupled with “over-use” injuries that are growing, it is important to be an advocate for your child when selecting programs, teams, coaches, and camps.