Top 10 Tips To Prevent Injury For Kids In Sport
So What Are Our Top 10 Tips To Prevent Injury For Kids In Sport
1 – Know your sport and listen to your coach
– Understand the rules of the sport, understand the skills required, protective equipment – like mouthguard and good shoes / boots.
– Your coach will give you technique tips which will help you improve the skills required – like shooting the ball or defensive slides in basketball, or kicking and tackling technique in footy.
2 – Good fitness and always warm up
– Depending on your sport – practise the main components of what you need – this may include running, cycling, bush walks, beach runs – there are lots of different ways to get fit for sport.
– Warm up with some jogging/ jumping and big body movements before your exercise – your body should feel free and easy when starting the serious part of training.
3 – Train Hard and Enjoy
– “Train to play” is an old motto that can still be used. If you work hard on the training track then it makes it more realistic to a game situation. Try your best every time you do something. Practice at home and with friends and have pretend games or competitions. But make the practice good quality. Always try and think about the using good technique and visualise things that may happen in the game.
4 – Don’t Overdo It
– Training everyday will lead to fatigue and increase the risk of injury for muscle strains and overuse injuries. Often kids when they are around 13-15 are involved in many sports and are doing training or games almost every day. Your body will respond better to day on day off but a variety of sports also breaks up the different stresses going though the body and may be positive for performance.
– The biggest risk of injury is doing too much too soon – this is well known in research across all sport and exercise.
– Sometimes if your body is feeling sore and tired – its time for a weekend off a game. Often when you have 1 week off you come back the next game with more energy and improve your performance.
5 – Listen to your body
– If something doesn’t feel normal then get it checked out. If your child is complaining consistently about a pain or tightness then it needs to be assessed properly by a Physio. Research tells us that a lot of children’s problems go under diagnosed but we also don’t want to stop sport each time there a little complaint. It’s a tough balancing act.
6 – Healthy Living
– Good sleep – allows for regeneration of body.
– Good diet – the fuel and energy is important for action. Lots of fruit and vegies in everyone’s diet are important. Pasta and rice still works the night before the game.
– Keep the fluids up – drink water before the game and training. Don’t leave it to late – hydration is always important and helps your bodywork well in many ways.
7 – Get a Physio Screen
– Physiotherapists have many tests that make up a screen to figure out what are the main things that need working on. They help find your strengths and weaknesses and develop a program to help correct these things. Flexibility and movement – the more movement you have the better you can move
– Can you touch your toes or get your lunge your knee over your ankles. Strength and endurance – stronger legs are the key depending on your sport. Research tells us that good gluteals or “ the butt muscles” can help reduce the risk of ACL injury and kneecap problems. So get your butt working!!
– Can you hold a squat for 30 seconds or do a body bridge for 30 seconds. Balance and coordination – less falling means better skills and better performance. Can you balance with your eyes closed for 30 seconds without touching the ground with the other foot.
8 – Good posture
– Gets the right muscles working for you. You can work on your sitting posture and standing posture all day. Can you do a pelvic tilt in sitting. Learning how to sit well can actually help you get your back and abdominal muscles stronger.
– Your sporting posture can also be changed to improve performance – e.g. cricket batting pose, running posture with chest up and basketball defence – don’t slouch!
– I am always nagging people to sit well – Sitting posture can be easily taped to help find the best position.
9 – Learn how to move
– There’s something called body awareness and this is your brain telling different parts of your body to move. Everyone moves differently but learning how to move well from an early age can really make a difference for confidence, increase participation and then reduce injury.
– There are simple ways to help teach people how to squat, jump, hop, and move from sit to stand, run and land. Making moving easier with all these simple tasks can then transfer into the sporting field.
– Many Physios run classes to help kids learn how to move and gain confidence with movement. Body Logic Physio runs classes for kids starting at 5 or 6 to teenagers.
10 – Recovery
– After you’ve had a hard training session or tough game the best thing to do is try and help your muscles recover. The elite athletes will use ice baths and the pool but you can do something similar with a walk in the beach water or have a gentle walk and then stretch of any muscles that are feeling tight. This is just as important the next day.
– Keeping the drinking of water up after the game is also important so you don’t dehydrate.
If you get injured don’t forget – R I C E R Vs H A R M à for the first 3 days
DO (the quicker you do this the better)
Rest – get off the field / stop playing and try and rest the inured area
Ice – use ice blocks, ice pack, frozen peas – 20 mins every 2 hours – Don’t give yourself an ice burn.
Compression – use a bandage or tubigrip to stop the swelling.
Elevation – Keep the injured area up to help drain the bleeding away from the area.
Referral – See your Dr or Physio ASAP. This will all depend on the extent of the injury –
DON’T – Heat Alcohol (for adults) Running Massage
Each of these things will make your injury bleed or hurt more so shouldn’t happen in the first 2-3 days.