Tips for Preventing In-season Injuries- Youth Football
Bumps and bruises are going to happen, it’s just a part of the game. So, for youth football players, how do we go about preventing injuries at football practice and at games?
Proper preparation. It’s a responsibility of youth football coaches to make sure their kids are physically prepared to play football. That means intense practice time. Get those kids ready! Stretching helps prevent various muscle injuries and has the added benefit of increasing flexibility. Coaches should avoid ‘uneven’ fitness regimens as these increase injury risk.
Over-hitting. Most teams are halfway through the football season. I believe tackling should be practice everyday. With that said, you shouldn’t be beating your players up during the practice week. You can utilize non-contact drills to practice tackling. I’m all for live contact drills, but not all practice long. Here is an excellent article on how to minimize concussions in youth football.
Proper fitting/checking equipment. Many athletes play the game with improperly fitting equipment. A helmet that doesn’t fit right will increase the chance of injury and discomfort. Always make sure your players have all their equipment on properly.
Timid play. If a kid plays timid, he could potentially get himself or his teammate(s) injured. This comes down to the coaches developing confidence in their players.
Water consumption. Staying hydrated will prevent those pesky muscle cramps.
Nutrition. The human body will only function as good as the foods you put into it. Here is an excellent article- 5 Power Foods for Athletes.
A little bit of luck. Injuries happen in youth football, sometimes it’s a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.