If you’re the parent of a student athlete, the start of another school year means more than a return to the books. It’s also time for fall sports. And along with the fun and excitement, comes the potential for sports injuries.
You may be surprised to learn what a crucial role parents can play in preventing injuries. Here are 8 tips to help you help your student athlete.
- Know your coaches. Meet them in person; find out how to contact them.
- Find out if your child’s school has an athletic trainer. Middle schools may not, but sometimes the high school trainer (ATC/LAT) will be able to follow a student if needed. The athletic trainer is the medical person on the scene in your child’s school and often knows them (and their sport and coaches) well, and can facilitate communication. LG Health Physicians Sports Medicine has two licensed athletic trainers on staff to assist with these communications.
- If possible, watch a few practices or ask the coaches these questions:
- How are the kids getting adequate hydration?
- How hard will you push the athletes?
- What does the warm up-cool down regimen involve?
- Learn your school’s concussion protocol—during school and with the athletic teams.
- Ask your child how things are going. Find out if they enjoy their sport (why/why not) and where it lands as a priority in their life.
- Make sure your child comes into the season with a general level of fitness. This decreases the risk of stress fractures, shin splints, and other overuse injuries.
- Good nutrition and hydration are keys to success in sports, school, and life in general. Encourage your child to eat breakfast every day, and focus on healthy choices for lunch, dinner and snacks.
- Remember the first and best aim of sport is to learn, have fun, and be a part of the team. Try to instill this philosophy in your child...and yourself!