(KUTV) As the end of summer gets closer, football and soccer players are returning to the field, and the last thing an athlete wants is an injury. Luckily, there are a few ways to reduce your risk of ending up on the sidelines. Minimizing your risk of injury begins by maximizing your off-season preparation.
“A lot of this has to do with transitioning your activities from working out in the gym to going outside when it’s 100 degrees,” says Dr. Roy H. Trawick, orthopedic surgeon at Intermountain’s TOSH.
Realistic training outdoors, in the heat, can help smooth that transition.
“Working in an air conditioned gym and working in terms of sets and things like that is not going to get you into shape as well as running with a sled and things like that on the field,” says Dr. Trawick.
Staying hydrated is also crucial. If you start to see symptoms of dizziness or muscle cramping, it’s time to back off and recover.
Unfortunately, some injuries are hard to avoid.
“At first when I fell, my knee like popped so I didn’t know if I hurt it or not,” says Taivasa Tulaga, a high school football player.
Occasionally, athletes like Taivasa experience an unfortunate injury to a knee or ankle that’s season-ending.
“We got an MRI and I thought everything was okay, but I found out I tore my ACL,” says Taivasa.
With injuries like this, recovering fully is key to avoid getting hurt again.
Lastly, remember: if you do get hurt, get checked out. This is especially crucial when it comes to head injuries and the brain.
“The players being honest with themselves, and with their coaches and trainers I think is very important,” says Dr. Trawick.