If you are playing a sport, chances are you will run into some bumps and bruises along the way. Very few people walk away from a career in high school or college sports unscathed. I’m not saying this to scare anyone away from sports, in fact I believe sports should be a fundamental part of childhood development and should continue throughout our lives. Nelson Mandela once said “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”.
Sports are a powerful tool, but we must be aware of the risks that come with such power. Spiderman’s late great Uncle Ben stated “With great power comes great responsibility.” (Or maybe it was Winston Churchill, or FDR, or a French philosopher who said that, depending on who you ask. Maybe all of them did.) We should not take our athletic abilities for granted nor neglect measures to prevent injury. As you can see from the graphic below, millions of injuries happen each year, and some of those have an increased chance of recurrence and can be even more severe when repeated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a list of preventative measures that can reduce the risk of injury during sports, including
- Increase Flexibility
- Strengthen Muscles
- Use proper technique
These may seem like common sense, but if everyone took this advice I don’t think we would have injury rates as high as they are. To me these three factors can be summed up with two words: MOVEMENT QUALITY.
Movement quality to me means having the awareness and control to be able to move your body through full range of motion. This is the primary focus for the work I do with most of my athletes, and we see kids get stronger and faster just by being able to put their bodies in the proper position to put force in the desired direction.
Test your movement quality by clicking the link below
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics
For more on the AAP