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Injury Prevention: Staying in the game

Injuries are a common side effect of participating in sports that typically result in time lost from competition. Fortunately, you do not have to sit back and wait for an injury to happen. There are many precautions athletes can take to prevent injuries from occurring.

Prevention Strategy

Wear proper clothing and shoes. Clothing should be appropriate for the sport. Shoes should be snug, supportive, and relatively new. Shoes should be replaced if any part of the shoe is showing signs of wear. The laces should be tied tightly and the insert should provide arch support.

  1. Wear ALL appropriate equipment for your sport and make sure it fits! Your coach should be able to help you make sure you have all the necessary equipment and make sure it fits properly.
  2. Make sure you warm up and stretch before any physical activity. Stretching after exercise can also help decrease soreness and muscle injury. A proper warm-up should take AT LEAST 10 minutes and should include stretches for all major muscle groups.
  3. Follow the rules of the game à they are there for your protection.
  4. Use proper techniques and body positioning at all times. One wrong move could sideline you for the season.
  5. Stay hydrated!!! A loss of 2 percent of the body's water volume through sweating during competition can decrease physical performance up to 30 percent. Prevent injuries by hydrating with at least 64 ounces of fluids per day, particularly during the 24 hours prior to exercise — 20 oz. 2 hours before exercise, 7 oz. every 20 minutes during exercise, and 8 oz. within 30 minutes of completing exercise.
  6. If you have minor aches and pains after exercise, apply ice for 20 minutes. Twenty minutes now can prevent a more serious injury later.

Staying in the Game Year Round

You can work to prevent injuries year-round. Staying in shape from season to season will keep your body ready and prepared for the stresses and strains of the season. Be sure to incorporate some rest periods to avoid overtraining.

Washington Youth Soccer

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