Tips to prepare your junior athletes for success this year

The air is about to start getting crisper. You can feel a breeze and maybe even see a few leaves begin to fall. It can only mean one thing – another football season is about to commence!

But, before your football star gets on the field, Dr. Stephen Gould, MD, sports medicine specialist and Director of Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Hoover Health Center, wants to make sure injury-prevention stays on the forefront of everyone’s mind, including coaches, parents, and young athletes.

Put Me In, Coach!

Is your child ready to play football? Before immediately saying yes, it is important for parents to understand the importance of making sure their young athlete is ready to hit the field. Especially since many young athletes are still growing, it is vital to ensure their physical and mental health is protected both on and off the field.

“Football is an extremely popular contact sport,” states Dr. Gould. “Therefore, it is important for parents to understand concussions, particularly since a contact sport like football can put young athletes at a higher risk. Fortunately, though, there are ways parents and coaches can help prevent concussions from occurring during practices and games.

 Football players wearing the right equipment is crucial to preventing concussions. The basic safety equipment worn by football players include:

Jockstrap or compression shorts

 In addition, physical activity should not just happen during football season, but all-year long should be taken into consideration when trying to prevent injuries.

 “When young athletes play the same sport year-round, they have an increased risk of experiencing an injury due to overuse,” Dr. Gould explains. “However, when young athletes play multiple sports, such as football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring, athletes are actually at a decreased risk of injury because they are using different muscles for each sport.”

 Early Detection Is Key

 If an injury does occur, it is best for treatment and recovery if an athlete is brought in at the first onset of symptoms.

 “If you think there is even a one-percent chance your athlete could have a concussion, it is critical to bring him or her in for an appointment for a medical evaluation,” urges Dr. Gould. “Concussions should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Our free-standing emergency room is definitely a great resource for athletes who need to be seen quickly and, then, can follow-up with our office for further treatment.”

 Other common injuries seen in young athletes during football season include:

 If you suspect your young athlete is suffering from a football injury (from concussions to an ACL tear), be sure to make an appointment with our professionals to ensure he or she receives the care needed to get them back on the field!

 Did your athlete recently suffer an injury on the field? Contact Dr. Gould and the team at Hoover Health Center to make an appointment for an evaluation and treatment plan.


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