Football is by far the most popular sport in the world and the number of football enthusiasts around the world is beyond counting. The beautiful game involves 90 minutes of utter physicality and with nothing but winning in mind, players often put themselves on the line to score a goal or prevent one. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, a staggering 500000 football related injuries are recorded every year, and 120000 of these are associated with youth players between the age of 2 and 18. Parents, players, coaches and all other related parties intend to do what they can to minimize these accidents in order to keep the players fit for the next game. Here are a few things that can be done to achieve the above objective.
Warm-ups and cool-downs are vital
Football doesn’t develop natural flexibility of the human body like gymnastics or swimming does. Therefore, it is important to get the body properly warmed up for the sport through stretching of the concerned muscles and after playing, cooling down exercises should be done to prevent painful strains and sprains. The risk of these is particularly high for children between the age 10 and 13 as the rate of bone growth exceeds that of muscle growth during this age, making then susceptible to injuries.
Proper maintenance of the field
The playing field must be safe for the players at all times. Football is a sport that involves a lot of clashing of muscle against muscle and everyone is bound to fall plummeting down on to the field during any game. Proper care most be given to rid the surface of any and all imperfections and regular inspections are a must to accomplish this. By opting for a 4G artificial turf instead of the traditional grass turf, risk of injuries such as shoulder dislocations and fractured bones can be significantly minimized as these are custom made to absorb shock.
A goal keeper would do anything to keep the opposition from advancing towards his domain and stealing a goal. They often fling their bodies near the goal posts and sometimes end up with severe head injuries caused by collisions with the goal post. Although an artificial turf can help minimize injuries to most parts of the body, goalpost collisions are not accounted for. Padding the goalposts with a shock absorbing material will give the goalie confidence to make a daring save and lift the team to victory.
Proper shin guards
A recent study has shown that shin is the third most likely part of the body to sustain a football injury among youth players. A serious kick on an unprotected shin will fracture the tibia (shin bone), which may take several months to mend. Wearing a shin guard of appropriate safety standards will significantly lower the level of injuries to the tibia.