Stuck on the sidelines?
Minnehaha academy athletes are noticing an increase in more severe injuries
Injuries are always a part of every sports season and teams have learned to deal with the challenge of key players being unable to play. But when those injuries start to become more frequent and more severe, teams start to worry.
Over this past year, the Minnehaha Academy sports world has seen a lot more injuries that keep kids out of games and practices for long periods of time that it has in previous years.
“I actually have noticed an increase in significant injuries this season as opposed to last season,” said Minnehaha Academy’s trainer Kate Wahlin. “There have been a few more severe ankle (ligament) sprains, a broken toe, a dislocated shoulder, a very significant knee injury where three ligaments were torn and a couple concussions. Then you have the more common injuries such as muscle strains, muscle cramps and general soreness.”
There are many factors that could attribute to the cause of this particular increase. Factors such as athletes’ bodies not adapting to the higher intensity or the simple neglect for some athletes to strengthen their bodies in the offseason could be factors in this injury increase.
Athletes of the two fall contact sports, soccer and football, are also noticing an increase in injuries throughout their teams but don’t have any theories about the causes. However, a lot of those athletes are focused more on their own personal health for this season and the next.
“The process coming back from an injury has been rough,” said senior girls soccer captain and forward Carolyn Rowley. “I hurt my quad on a goal kick about halfway through the season and the rehab process has been tedious. Every day, I have to just play how my leg feels regardless of how much I wanted to play that day. If my leg felt bad, then I couldn’t do much as far as practicing.”
Now that most fall sports are either finished or coming to a close, these athletes are thinking about next season and how they can prevent their injuries from occurring again.
Coaches have integrated injury prevention programs and warm-ups into the plan for the coming season. Athletes are also using their own methods and plans for injury prevention
so they can play for an entire season without interruption.
“In past seasons I have done an ACL injury prevention program called the PEP program with bands and ladders that I feel helped immensely,” said Rowley. “I’d recommend it to any soccer player out there because I thought it really kick started my season.”
Athletes have an obligation to take care of their bodies for the entire season. They need to get into and stay in shape so they can support their team by playing the game instead of just cheering on the bench.
“The moment athletes start the season in August, they go from whatever offseason training they did to full practices for two hours a day and sometimes twice a day which can really hurt their bodies,” said Wahlin. “Although most athletes think they have done enough offseason training to protect from injury, they come up short a lot of the time. What I’d recommend for offseason training is to do a lot of agility drills, power exercises, increase your endurance and especially lifting. Lifting can benefit anyone in any sport, boys or girls.”
The reason behind the increase among Minnehaha Academy fall sports athletes is still a mystery. Although there is some speculation as to why there has been an increase of injuries, there is no finite reason.
“I don’t really know why there has been an increase in injuries,” said Wahlin. “There is no real reason why more athletes get injured. My best guess would be that the injured people didn’t do enough work in the offseason to get ready for the season and their muscles just broke down from the high intensity.”
But, if athletes can take care of their bodies before, during and after the season, then the injury total is sure to come down.