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Injury Prevention Tips for the Fast-paced Athlete

Erin Randall, ATC, MSFast-paced action sports like basketball, soccer and volleyball can leave athletes susceptible to a multitude of injuries.  Erin Randall, ATC, MS OSTI's athletic trainer at Marengo Community High School is no stranger to dealing with injured athletes; however, focuses her practice on preventing injuries among her athletes through the correct preparation and conditioning.  Check out below as Erin shares tips on ways to stay injury free on the court or field.  


Conditioning and training: High level sports require cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. In the off season stay conditioned and focus on aerobic endurance, coordination, balance, flexibility, and strengthening.

Warm-up: Warming up elevates heart rate and increases blood flow around the body in preparation for strenuous activity, as well as warming the muscles.

Stretching: Stretching should be performed to ensure the muscles are working at their optimum and do not sustain injury secondary to being cold and inflexible. 

Nutrition & Hydration

Proper nutrition: A healthy diet is required to fuel muscles during activity and is essential for rebuilding muscles after participation. Vitamins and minerals are also required for recovery.

Hydration: Hydrate adequately as dehydration impacts athletic performance. Drink fluids pre participation and during. Be sure to hydrate post activity to replenish fluids lost from participation in order to assist with adequate recovery.

 Technique, Equipment & Awareness

- Be aware of your surroundings in regards to where the other players are on the court or field to avoid collisions.

- Play clean. Avoid blocking, tripping, and pushing opponents.

- Focus on proper basketball technique for passing, dribbling, and shooting.

- Wear shoes that fit snug and provide adequate ankle and arch support.

- Know when it is time to rest. Listen to your body. Injuries often result due to fatigue causing poor technique and can lead to overuse injuries.