One of the leading causes of sports injuries is related to overuse.
Our bodies are only designed to withstand a certain amount of strenuous activities until they break in some way, whether it be a fracture or a tear.
No matter the injury, it can become very dangerous, especially when athletes don't get the proper rest,but instead continue to use a damaged bone or muscle. Athlete’s bodies are amazing and can stand a lot of pressure, but when it comes to overuse of one common movement due to a year-round sport, it's very dangerous.
Athlete’s bodies often have no chance to take a break and recover, but instead, athletes are constantly using those motions, until one day when their bodies stop working and become injured. Helix P.E. Teacher and high school basketball assistant coach Rory Simpson says, ¨I think you're seeing a growth in sports injuries because of repetitive use because the kids are taking part in year-round sports more than they ever have.”
Strength training does not get the attention it deserves in schools. At Helix, for example, no athlete strength trains unless they are in the sophomore class. The class is fortunate enough to have P.E as one of their required classes, which allows them to build their bodies up to protect it from the possible threats that may come.
The training that athletes are being provided is based solely on how to do the sport, not how to train and strengthen themselves for that sport. Simpson says, “Less attention is pushed on the training of the athlete, but pushed on the training of the sport. You aren't taking care of your body to be an athlete.”
Many students at Helix can relate and agree that these allegations are true. And the situation often culminates in an injury. Junior Kyla Harper was recently injured in a volleyball match. “I went up to hit the ball in volleyball and dislocated my knee cap, it was the most pain I have ever been in in my life. I had no idea what had happened either, which was scary,” said Harper.
Harper’s injury is a result of poor training and an excessive focus on her specific sports skills. “I believe the reason behind my injury was because we didn't do enough stretching and training to strengthen us for the season,” said Harper.
Training is a major factor in whether or not they are successful or unsuccessful at staying injury free. Research shows that athletes should be working out outside of their sports at least once a day, if not more. However, at Helix, we don't see that.
Students don't work out before practice at any point. Simpson says, “I think the biggest part to preventing sports injuries is training.” Many pieces of research support this approach. In order to maintain their peak strength, they have to be working out outside of the sport.
Whether or not athletes decide to work out and strengthen their bodies is up to them. They have the choice to make themselves better and work for their health or just show up to practice and games, hoping that nothing is going to happen to hurt them. That would be a gamble that no student-athlete should have to take.