SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

August 16, 2013

Student athletes need awareness to avoid injury

(Continued)

Get geared up

The right gear is essential for young athletes looking to avoid injury. Though summer might seem tailor-made for flip-flops, such footwear should never be worn when exercising and preparing for the coming sports season. Athletic shoes specific to your sport are made to provide the support you will need as you train and compete. The same goes for the clothing you should wear when getting ready for the season. Wear the appropriate athletic attire to reduce your risk of injury.

Weight train

Weight train in the presence of your coaches or parents. Many athletes begin weight training for the first time when they are in high school. Weight training can be beneficial to young athletes, but such athletes should never lift weights unsupervised. Parents, trainers and coaches can explain the equipment to young athletes while ensuring they don’t overdo it in the weight room.

Lifting too much weight or having bad form when weight lifting can cause serious injury that can sideline youngsters for the coming season, if not longer. So young athletes should always weight train in the presence of an adult and always work with a spotter to help them should they struggle to finish a repetition.

Don’t try to match your fellow athletes

The human body develops differently for everyone. Young athletes must recognize that there’s a chance their classmates and teammates may be developing more quickly than they are. These classmates may be more capable of performing certain physical activities. For example, a teammate might be able to lift more weight than you.

Do not try to match your fellow athletes if your body is uncomfortable performing a certain exercise. If you must endure substantial pain to perform a given exercise, then your body is likely telling you it simply isn’t ready for that exercise. Don’t force the body to do something just to keep up with your teammates.

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