While playing soccer can be a fantastic way for a person of any age to stay active, it is also a game that comes with many risks. Giving it your all on the field means putting your body through some rigorous paces. In order for you to play your best, you need to take certain precautions. Investing the right gear like soccer socks and shin guards can be a great start. Beyond this, you should also pay attention to both preventative steps and possible treatments for the most common injuries you’re likely to encounter.
Knowing what to expect can have a profound impact on your ability to handle a sudden sprain or scrap. Consider these points and keep yourself prepared for whatever the game has in store for you.
Start With Correct Conditioning
Taking the right precautions will do wonders for your ability to stay safe while playing your favorite sport. No matter your age, you cannot jump right into a game of soccer without first conditioning it. A majority of common injuries like sprains are caused by overexerting the body. This typically happens at the start of a season when many players are not used to the demands that will be placed on them. Treating a sprain is not complicated, but your best bet is to condition your body so that it does not undergo the stress that leads to such ailments.
Soccer is all about leg strength and the knees tend to take a beating on the field. Proper conditioning puts a strong emphasis on the kneecaps and the proper way to distribute weight while running and pivoting during a game.
Stretch Before Every Game
This might sound obvious, but you absolutely need to stretch before each game you play. Just as conditioning your body helps you stay prepared for the challenges of the sport, stretching before a game gets your body warmed up for what’s immediately in store. In fact, studies point out that a massive amount of muscle-related injuries are caused by a failure to properly stretch in advance. Soccer engages with muscle groups that you likely don’t use throughout your typical routine. This means you need to make a conscious effort to exercise and warm these muscles before playing.
While stretching, focus on areas like your hips, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps. You will also want to dedicate some time to cooling these groups down after a game, which will help to better preserve your muscles for the next game.
Put on the Right Gear
All sports put certain physical demands on the players. To ensure safety, gear is typically required. For soccer, this can mean cleats, soccer socks, and shin guards, among others. The shinbone is particularly prone to injuries, meaning you want to take time to research and invest in guards that will keep the tibia fully covered. Though not always required, mouth guards are considered an important defense against accidental injuries or sudden blows to the face. All players benefit from mouth guards, but goalies are most likely to receive a ball to the mouth at any point in the game.
Before investing in any gear, be sure that the brand you’re looking at has been tested for quality purposes. Gear that meets safety standards will be marked accordingly, helping you limit your selection and purchase only what will help you stay safe.
Stay Aware of Concussions
While soccer might not be as notorious as American football when it comes to head injuries, concussions are still a very real possibility. From falling the wrong way to getting hit suddenly by a fellow player in a moment of confusion, hitting your head is something you should stay mindful of at all times. Helmets are not required for soccer and would not make sense due to the nature of the sport. Still, recognizing the signs of a concussion can be the best way for you to address the issue as soon as possible.
When a sudden hit to the face or head occurs, take a moment to try and process what’s happening and how you are feeling. If at any point you feel confused, drowsy, or off in any capacity, you should go to a doctor or emergency care facility immediately.
Know When To Rest
Giving it your all is not a sustainable mentality. While you can definitely go hard on many games, you will burn yourself out and abuse your body if you attempt to play at the same level each time you take the field. Part of being a good player is knowing when to rest. The other members of your team can pick up your slack and ensure that your efforts matter. Some leagues find that setting participation limits can help with this, as it requires players sit out a certain amount of games to enforce rest.
It also helps to take it easy on days off. Instead of going out drinking or hiking when you’re not playing the sport, use these days to tend to the needs of your body so that you can play your next game to the fullest.
Have a Small Kit Handy
Finally, embrace the fact that you won’t be able to avoid all possible accidents and injuries. Instead, you can stay prepared for what might happen by keeping a first-aid kit handy. Having bandages, tape, antiseptic, and other common medical items nearby can limit the odds of a minor scrape developing into a serious health hazard. Even if you don’t need to use the kit yourself throughout the season, teammates and opponents can benefit when one person remembers to bring useful resources to the table. Research what items would be the most helpful and put a kit together in no time.
From the gear you wear to the way you prepare, there are many steps to take when it comes to staying safe on the soccer field. Find the best gear for your needs by perusing the selection of soccer socks available at Socks Rock and always have a stylish and safe look. As long as you keep yourself educated on the various ways to approach your health and wellness before each game, you will stay prepared for whatever the game throws your way.