INJURY PREVENTION


Concussion Headbands

One study I read stated that over 20% of soccer injuries were related to concussions.  Sometimes a player doesn't know the proper way to head a ball.  More often, it's due to a collision with the ball or another player.

My daughter used a concussion headband.  She didn't like it.  She felt it was bulkier than regular headbands, and thought it made her look funny, but it gave us peace of mind.  A couple of her teammates ended up getting similar concussion headbands, and she accepted it.

There are several headbands on the market that are designed to protect against concussions.  Here are links for a few:




First Aid Kit

I imagine most parents have first aid kits in their cars.  Sometimes you need a new one.  Here are a couple links:




Patella Tendonitis

This condition involves the tendon that attaches at the kneecap (patella) and runs down to the shinbone (tibia).

This condition is a result of repetitive movement resulting in stress.  It is often called an overuse injury from exercise or sports.  The stress can cause tiny tears along the tendon that can weaken the tendon and become inflamed.

Rest is often prescribed, but many trainers and physicians will allow an athlete to continue playing.  In the US, my son was told to stretch and to use knee straps.   They helped.

When my son trained in Italy, at 15, the trainer had him wrap a small strip of band around his knee with a knot over the front of the patella.  He felt like this helped better than the regular bands.  

Following are some links for straps and wrap:


Recovery

After a hard training, you want to ensure you are replacing your electrolytes and rehydrating yourself.  Drink at least 16 ozs. of water, or a healthy drink - could be chocolate milk, or a sports drink.

Within 45 minutes after your workout, you should eat a meal or good-sized snack.  Make certain to include proteins and carbohydrates.

My son is big on protein shakes.  This is also because he is constantly working to put on and keep on his weight.  He was one of the smallest on his team when he was little and was constantly pushed off the ball.

Here are a few of the protein mixes that Jared uses.  In Spain, these aren't all available so he sometimes has to get others, but these are the ones he has seemed to like the best.

Stretching Supplies

All athletes need to stretch, both before and after practice.  A regular stretching routine can significantly minimize their risk for injury.

Proper stretching lets players not only maintain their muscle strength but assists in improving their endurance.  It also helps their bodies handle the physical stressors of repeated playing and training sessions.

EVERY serious athlete should have an established stretching routine.  If your player is a student and doesn't, see if the trainer at their club or school can help them create one.  You can also find a lot of good information on soccer-specific stretching online.

Following are links for a few items.  These are NOT necessary for effective stretching.  You can create create a great routine without them.  My son prefers to do his stretches on a mat without bands.  He has had trainers assist him with his routine. 


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