Injury prevention is key for athletes

Infographic by Therese Mecano. Source: Youth Sports Safety Alliance.
Infographic by Therese Mecano. Source: Youth Sports Safety Alliance.

By Nicole Pugh, Staff–

Of the multitude of injuries Davis High athletes experience over the course of their sports seasons, many could be avoided by taking preventative measures.

Women’s basketball and volleyball coach Brett Anderson believes that the majority of injuries can be attributed to a lack of education, and says that “the most effective way to prevent injury is to give players and coaches education on injury prevention.”

DHS pays athletic trainer Kolby Kuhn to monitor sports teams and give advice to athletes who get injured. However, to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, athletes should already know the information Kuhn provides.

Andersen believes that Kuhn should start a program to educate athletes and coaches on ways to prevent injuries, and Kuhn agrees with the idea.

“Ideally, the program would consist of clinics covering different types of preventable injuries common in high school athletes,” Kuhn said. “Athletes and coaches would be educated on guidelines, proper techniques and the benefits of dynamic warm-ups, stretching routines and heat acclimatization.”

According to Anderson, “many sports teams at DHS do not emphasize the importance of stretching before working out […] stretching is vital for avoiding general muscle injuries.”

Although the program would be helpful to most sports, some teams already stress the importance of injury prevention on a daily basis.

Track and field head coach Spencer Elliott modifies track workouts to improve running mechanics and prevent common injuries such as joint pain, while the women’s basketball team stresses the importance of stretching.

“I think our [basketball team’s] record showed, injury-wise, how healthy we stayed due to the vitality of stretching and the emphasis we put on its importance,” Andersen said.

But not all sports teams have a good record in terms of injuries.

“I think sometimes [stretching] isn’t taken very seriously and team members kind of work at 50 percent effort,” sophomore volleyball player Gena Chambers said.

And Kuhn has also noticed a lack of prevention among some athletes.

“It is very common for me to see injuries that could have been easily prevented if the athletes had warmed up and/or stretched properly,” she said.

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