January 29, 2020
No matter the sport or the season, it’s important to keep your young athlete healthy and happy during practice. With these 10 tips from Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, you can be sure you’re in the best possible position from practice to game day!
1. See a doctor and get a physical.
Many schools/organizations require a physical exam before your child can play a sport. Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to make sure they are healthy enough to participate.
2. Get in shape before the season starts.
This is especially important if your child has had a long period of rest in between seasons.
3. Share your emergency contact information with your coach and supervisors.
Make sure the people running practice know what to do in case of an emergency. Also, ensure they are aware of any pre-existing medical conditions your child has.
4. Make sure the coach is prepared.
The coach and other adults should be prepared for injuries to occur. Ask them what their protocol is when a child is hurt. They should also be certified in CRP and first aid.
5. Check your gear before practice.
The right equipment can make all the difference. Check to be sure it fits properly and is in good repair.
6. Warm up and stretch before each practice and game.
Warming up helps prevent tears and sprains.
7. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration can lead to lightheadedness and fainting, putting your young athlete at risk of hitting their head or risking other injuries.
8. Follow a good diet.
While eating a well-balanced diet is important for everyone, it is especially important for athletes of all ages to eat enough to offset the calories burned during practice.
9. Get enough rest every night.
Getting plenty of sleep, especially before practice and games, will ensure your athlete’s senses and concentration are sharp and help them make smart choices.
10. Be a good sport.
Teach your child to play by the rules and avoid aggressive behavior. Fighting on the field is a sure-fire way to get hurt! Dr. Henry Stiene, Joint Medical Director and Team Physician for Xavier University Athletics, says, “Youth athletes should always have fun playing a sport they enjoy. Being prepared and staying injury free can help make the experience fun for the athlete and parents as well.”