What is a sports injury?

A sports injury is an injury that you get while playing any sport.

What are the different types of sports injuries?

There are 2 types of sports injuries, which are:

  • Acute injuries happen because of sudden trauma (a physical injury). Some examples are colliding with another player on the field, getting hit with a ball or sports equipment or a concussion.
  • Overuse injuries happen when you hurt the same part of your body over and over again. Some examples are shoulder injuries in swimmers or baseball players, wrist injuries in gymnasts or repeated concussions from football tackles.

How can I prevent sports injuries?

While you can’t prevent all sports injuries, you can prevent many of them by following these tips:

  • Wear the right gear. Make sure you’re wearing the right gear for the sport you play. You should also make sure your sports gear is fitted properly. This includes pads, helmets, face guards, mouthpieces, protective cups and goggles.
  • Play it safe. Follow the rules of your sport. For example, if you play baseball or softball, don’t slide headfirst into the bases.
  • Stretch those muscles. Stretching before and after you practice or play can help protect your body from injuries.
  • Get strong! Do exercises that help build strength in your muscles. Strong muscles help protect you while you practice and play.
  • Drink lots of fluids before, during and after practice or play. Drinking enough fluids, like water or sports drinks, helps keep you hydrated so you can stay in the game.
  • Stop playing if something hurts. If anything hurts, stop playing and call your doctor right away.
  • Don’t play again until the doctor helps you figure out what’s wrong and how to treat the problem.
  • Take time off. Plan at least 1 day a week AND 1 month a year when you don’t practice or play. Time off helps your body recover so you can play at your best when you play again.

A note for your parents...

Playing sports is all about having fun and playing safely. Encourage your teen to focus more on having fun and playing safely. Don’t pressure your teen to win or get caught up in winning. Praise him/her for trying hard and improving skills rather than criticizing for losing a game or making a mistake.

Rev. 7/2016