Follow these five tips to be sure that your team members stay healthy and prevent injuries throughout the playing season.
Sports and children go together like peanut butter and jelly. It is a great way to get kids into the great outdoors while teaching teamwork and structure. Youth sports are an excellent addition to a child’s extracurricular activities, but injury is all too common in child athletes. Coaches and parents should be aware of the top causes of injury in youth sports.
Invest in Fully Functioning Equipment
Your team may not have an extremely large budget for new equipment, but you should keep in mind that faulty equipment is a leading cause of accidental youth sports injuries. Failure to keep your equipment in good shape could end up costing more in the long run. Make a habit of doing an equipment inspection before and after each event.
Keep Playing Surfaces Smooth and Level
When children are focused on playing the game, the last thing they pay attention to is the terrain under their feet. Gouges, holes, and uneven patches result in unnecessary falls that can lead to breaks and sprains in young players. When choosing your playing fields, look for a well-kept landscape that is free of uneven dips and holes.
Never Leave an Injury to Chance
Over-enthusiastic young players often will convince their coaches to let them play despite a minor injury. If not given a chance to heal properly, minor injuries can quickly become career-ending damage. Protect the future of your young athletes by having a doctor examine any injury before allowing the youth to play.
Keep Players Hydrated
Young players are often bad at monitoring their own water intake. Staying hydrated is essential to prime muscle function, temperature regulation, and joint health. Don’t wait until the middle of the game to press beverages on your athletes. Make sure they begin hydrating several minutes before the start of the game. Too little water can leave your young player dizzy, cramping, or even unconscious.
Always Warm Up and Cool Down
It is a fairly standard part of any athletic event to have the players warm up beforehand. A good coach knows that the muscles need to be worked slowly at first to ensure a steady, consistent performance and prevent injuries. It is less common, but equally important, to give the young athletes a chance to cool down after working their muscles. This is critical to preventing injury and allowing the body to recover quickly.
Following these five simple tips to prevent injuries will allow your youth sports players to stay in top shape while they are in your care. Fewer injuries keep your athletes happy and engaged, and give the team an edge over the competition.