If you’re a student athlete, you’ve already learned that as you progress in your sport, the pressure to win gets more intense.
Your school’s program focuses on its record, and not always the best interests of its players.
So, it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
This is no small feat. Committing to a sport can feel like a job, and it’s a lot to add on top of classes, homework, group projects, studying, and maybe even a hint of a social life. It’s easy to get run down, and you may even get hurt if you’re not prioritizing your needs. Time-outs for self-care are the best ways for student athletes to avoid injury.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but students get so wrapped up in other responsibilities they forget the basics. When you need your body to be in peak condition, your muscles and joints need to recover between practices.
Any fatigue will slow your reflexes, affect your performance, and lead to injury. Not enough sleep can also affect your schoolwork, decision-making, and many other things. It all starts here, so schedule nine hours a night to recharge.
Athletes learn early on that food is fuel, but you can get caught up in your hectic schedule and start skipping meals. Consistency is key to performing well, so well-rounded meals should be a part of your day both before and after games and workouts.
College life can tempt you with late-night indulgences like pizza, and when you’ve been following a strict program, it’s easy to go overboard. Don’t deny yourself junk food—just remember everything in moderation. That should keep you from feeling sluggish or weakening your system.
You may have invested in top-of-the-line equipment for your sport, but that alone won’t protect you from injury. Use your equipment correctly and take care of it. Don’t skip precautions like a mouthguard at practice.
Don’t rush to put on your helmet without taking the time to fit it properly. Additionally, don’t ignore the little things, like shoes that get worn out or holes in your socks. You also don’t want to lend your things out unless absolutely necessary and remember to sanitize and maintain them afterward.
other valuable tips:
You may be a superstar athlete, but you’re still human. You want to break records, not limbs. Pay attention to what your body is saying, communicate with your coach, and set boundaries. Don’t let yourself get pushed too far in the short term, especially if it leads to an injury that will keep you out for the rest of the season.
As you make the transition to college, knowing the best ways for student athletes to avoid injury will give you a better chance to succeed in your sport and in your education. More importantly, it will give you a fighting chance at juggling it all while you stay true to yourself and grow as a person. Prioritize the right things, and you’ll be strong enough for any challenge.
Image Credit: ways for student athletes to avoid injury by envato.com
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