What Strategies Do Trainers Follow To Ensure Athletes Minimize Injuries?

What strategies do trainers follow to ensure athletes minimize injuries? All athletes will be injured to some degree during their career. Get some great strategies & recovery steps right here that trainers can use.


TOPIC: What Strategies Do Trainers Follow To Ensure Athletes Minimize Injuries?

The Question:

All athletes will injure themselves at one point or another and be out of service for a few days to an entire season. Any type of break in training can be very detrimental to an athletes' season so proper training is absolutely essential.

What strategies do trainers follow to ensure their athletes stay injury free during the winter season? Use various winter sports as examples.

What steps do trainers follow when an athlete suffers from a minor/intermediate/severe injury? Please be as descriptive as possible.

Bonus Question: Are there curfews for athletes at the college level to help ensure rest & recovery are not ignored?

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All athletes will injure themselves at one point or another and be out of service for a few days to an entire season. Any type of break in training can be very detrimental to an athlete's season so proper training is absolutely essential.


Strategies
What Strategies Do Trainers Follow To Ensure Their Athletes Stay Injury Free During The Winter Season? Use Various Winter Sports As Examples.

Winter sports can be split into 2 different categories:

  1. Sports that actually require the cold or snow to perform.
  2. Sports that are usually played in the winter but indoors.

1. Cold Based Sports:

    As far as cold-based winter sports are concerned, the most popular of those sports, skiing and snowboarding, are both very stressful on the knees. Skiing particularly is very tough on the ACL. I personally know people who have had ACL tears from skiing.

    skiing
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Skiing Can Be Very Stressful On The Knees.

    The quick jerky movements and though landings along with potential for nasty spills makes it an injury waiting to happen. Recent data also suggests that the newer hourglass shaped skis lead to more ACL injuries than the older straight-edge designs.


    The Anterior Cruciate Ligament Connects The Femur To The Tibia.
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    Trainers often stress that while all injuries can't be avoided, steps can be taken to protect the athletes. Strengthening of the lower body can help provide more stabilization to the knees, especially during high impact crashes.

    Besides skiing, many of the other cold weather sports have potential for high speed crashes. Total body strengthening is important to help the body cope with the high impact collisions that many participants of cold weather sports may suffer.

2. Indoor Sports:

    Winter sports such as basketball, wrestling, indoor track, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, etc. are a very wide group of sports to discuss in one sitting. The best overall advice that can be given is to prevent injuries before they ever become a problem. A few classic rules need to be followed:

    • Strengthening: Comprehensive full body weight training will allow the athlete to be much more solid in his or her frame. This in addition to the increased performance that will come as a benefit.
    • Flexibility: Stretching routinely is a very important strategy to apply in order to prevent injuries. Stretching should be daily, but not prior to activity. Stretching will actually lull our muscles and tendons and will end up decreasing performance. We should stretch after activity to help recovery and increase flexibility.
    • Recovery Methods: There are various recovery methods to help prevent muscle injury. Foam rolling, contrast showers, supplements, etc. can all help relieve the damage done to our bodies through our athletic endeavors.
    • Proper Techniques: It is also important to note that the training or sports themselves need to be carried out correctly in order to ensure the least possible injury potential. All weight training needs to be in proper form and well instructed. Other aspects of the sports have be evaluated on an individual basis as well. For example, Wrestling weight loss: How much? How Fast? How Low?

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Addressing Injuries
What Steps Do Trainers Follow When An Athlete Suffers From A Minor/Intermediate/Severe Injury? Please Be As Descriptive As Possible.

While all injuries should be handed over to the proper professionals, here are some quick tips to ensure that the athlete can get the help they need as quickly as they can.

Minor:

    The steps to follow when an athlete has a minor injury are classic and found in the acronym, R.I.C.E.

    It stands for:

    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Compress
    • Elevate

    These steps are to ensure that swelling subsides and the recovery process can take action. It should be applied immediately for best effects and as long as there is swelling. After the swelling is gone, the athlete needs to take steps to get back on the playing field.

    Slow and controlled movements are the first steps to getting back 100%. With most minor injuries, the athlete should be back within a week.

basketball
Click Image To Enlarge.
The Athlete Should Be Back Within A Week.

Intermediate:

    R.I.C.E. should be implemented as well as constant evaluations by a professional. The athlete might be forced to take substantial time off from sports or training in order to ensure full healing and participate in some sort of therapy.

    Professionals, in order to speed up the recovery and get the athlete back in the game, may prescribe soft tissue work, strengthening, and other therapies. It is important to consult qualified personnel when dealing with these intermediate injuries since they are often not painful enough to seek special attention for, and they can quickly escalate to much more serious conditions.

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Severe:

    Severe injuries are best left up to medical professionals as often surgery or other drastic courses of action are required. Often times if a severe injury such as a bone break or fracture, tendon rupture, muscle tear, etc. occur, the pain itself is too unbearable to be dealt with and the athlete is forced to seek medical intervention as soon as possible.

RELATED POLL
Have You Ever Had A Serious Injury Like A Broken Bone Or Muscle Tear?

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Bonus Question
Are There Curfews For Athletes At The College Level To Help Ensure Rest & Recovery Are Not Ignored?

I personally do not feel that the curfews in place on college athletes are there for that particular reason. More often than not, coaches and administrators feel that there needs to be discipline on athletic teams. There have been too many examples of what happens when college teams get too much freedom.

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Underage drinking, hazing, rape allegations, and even deaths have been attributed to college athletic programs. College athletes, through popularity and resources often have way too much potential to make poor choices around campus.

Mmm Beer.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Curfews About Preventing Bad Choices.

By making a curfew, those in charge have a way of preventing them from staying out too late and getting themselves in even more trouble than they can get themselves into during the day. And though proper rest time is a benefit of curfews, it is, in my judgment, the least of the coaches and administrator's concerns, they are much more worried about the bad press coming out of their school campus.