Soccer is a sport which interests most of us. Very few of us are not impressed by the style and fast pace of this game. But the players who impress us so much goes through huge amounts of pain while playing this game. That is because soccer is a physical contact game and can cause lots of injuries to the players. To prevent these injuries from becoming fatal players take lots of prevention and treatment measures. According to sports researchers almost 75% of the soccer injuries are preventable. The best protection measure that a player can take is to do correct warm up and conditioning which can help him avoid such injuries which might prevent him from playing for a whole season.
Every soccer coach gives lots of stress on a warming up session, which should never be overlooked, and always be a part of every soccer players daily exercise routine. A good warm up session not only helps in improving performance but also acts as an injury prevention measure. It helps in increasing the temperature of the muscles, which normally work very well at a temperature of 40 degrees. It also provides more blood flow and hence more oxygen to the muscles and also speeds up the nerve impulses thus making a player move faster. Through daily warm up sessions a player has increased range of motion at joints thus having lesser risk of tearing muscles and ligaments.
Through a warm up session of 15 to 30 minutes, which will include a gentle jogging for increasing circulation of blood, stretching exercise and drills, a player can keep his body in good condition. It is always better to warm up few minutes before getting into the field for playing.
The next injury prevention method is cooling down. This should never be avoided because it can also help in avoiding injuries because it lowers down the heart rate, circulates blood and oxygen to the muscles and restores them to the same condition as they were just before the exercise. It also helps in removing the waste products and more importantly reduces the risk of muscle soreness. Therefore a player should always go for a cool down process, which is nothing, but a gentle jog followed by a bit of stretching.
Going for regular sports massage, helps in flushing out the waste products from the muscles and also releases all the tight knots, lumps and bumps of the muscles which might cause strains and tears. A good sports massage therapist can identify potential injury problems before a player actually gets it.
It is absolutely important for a player to have proper sporting equipments. He must have a shoe that has a rigid heal counter, good depth in the upper, flexible forefoot and a wide sole, which is slightly curved in shape. Most soccer players suffer from the injury of shin splitting that is Periostitis; therefore shin pads must be an essential piece of equipment in the kit bag of a soccer player.
A proper diet is a must so that you can cope up with the injury problems. The balanced diet of a soccer player must include carbohydrate for recharging the muscles, protein, good amount of fluids and exact amount of vitamin and minerals so that the body can fight with injury problems.
Both professional and amateur soccer players must go for a biomechanical analysis to identify possible injury problems and also take the help of an orthopedic surgeon. Also it is good to take the help of a sports therapist to identify weak areas. It is good to go for a course of exercises that can help in avoiding injury.
If a player is perfectly fit, and in a good condition, then he tends to get less injured. Therefore a player must go for general conditioning, aerobic fitness and muscular strength. A player must have strong muscles, which are less likely to tear. Good all-round conditioning will balance the body and help avoid injuries and make a good tackler. It is possible for a soccer player to have stronger hip flexor muscles through repeated kicking on one side.
If a soccer player is injured, he must allow his body to recover completely from that injury because otherwise it might cause more problems. Human bodies have own healing process but it needs to have time to rebuild itself strongly. Proper sleep is also absolutely necessary for the proper healing. If one is not getting it, then he is going to suffer physically.
A soccer player, whether amateur or professional, if follows the guidelines given above will certainly be able to avoid recurrent injury problems.