As a new academic year begins, high school and college athletes across the nation are preparing to represent their schools on the field, track, and more.
It’s important that they take steps to guard against harm when participating in sports. As rewarding as being on a school team can be, it can also put one at risk of sustaining major injuries or even death.
There are some basic ways any student-athlete can protect themselves that virtually all student-athletes are aware of. These include wearing the right equipment, obeying the rules of the game, and generally not putting themselves in dangerous situations, even if this means sacrificing the chance to score against the opposing team.
Other ways high school and college athletes can stay safe include the following:
Getting a Physical
Many student-athletes are required to get physicals before they can begin playing on a team. Even if this is not a requirement for participation, a young athlete should still prioritize it.
An athlete at any level is more likely to be harmed during a sporting event if they have an underlying medical condition. Thus, student-athletes need to confirm with their doctors that they are free of such conditions before a season begins.
Learning to Pay Attention to the Body
All athletes should cultivate a general awareness of what their bodies are telling them at any given time. This includes being aware of how they feel even when they are not actively participating in sporting events.
Continuing to “fight through the pain” when the body is giving signals that it needs rest will dramatically increase an athlete’s odds of sustaining injuries. Although the physical signs indicating it’s time to take a break can often be obvious, that’s not always the case. During an intense match, an athlete might overlook signs of exhaustion or overexertion.
On the other hand, if an athlete learns how to pay close attention to the way their body feels and the signals it is giving off, they’ll be more likely to notice early warning signs of trouble. This can help them prevent minor overexertion from causing a major injury.
The importance of hydration cannot be stressed enough. Drinking enough water before, during, and after a sporting event is key to optimizing performance and guarding against harm.
Experts recommend hydrating for approximately 30 minutes before engaging in intense physical activity. During intense physical activity, such as a sporting event, it’s best to replenish fluids every 15 to 20 minutes, or even more often than that if possible.
Unfortunately, even when student-athletes do their best to avoid harm, they can sometimes be injured due to the negligence of others. For instance, maybe an athlete is technically using the right safety gear, but the product’s designers or manufacturers overlooked defects that rendered the gear less helpful than it should have been.
That’s just one example. While you will hopefully never be injured while playing sports because another party was careless if this does happen, you should at least know you can potentially seek compensation for your medical bills and other such losses by filing a claim or lawsuit. At Dan Doyle Law Group, an experienced Philadelphia sports injury attorney will gladly review your case and explain what your legal options may be if you’ve been harmed on the field. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 215-987-3730 for a free consultation.