No coach wants a team member to be sidelined by a sports  injury–whether it’s to a player’s body (ouch!) or  to the club’s corporate body because of liability (also ouch). Protecting everyone at your facility from an injury that could have been prevented is not only important to win, it’s a responsibility.

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable, but here are some fast facts and important tips that can help any facility, coach, or would-be sports star reduce the number and extent of  acute and chronic injuries. Acute injuries have symptoms that include: severe or nagging pain, swelling, tenderness, inability to move the joint as normal, or weakness in the body part. Chronic injuries are also painful, but are recurring when you play or exercise and are characterized by aches and/or swelling when you rest.

According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), the most common sports injuries include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee injuries
  • Swollen muscles
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations

If these types of injuries occur, you should bring out the RICE. This advice from the National Orthopedic Association recommends RICE for treating typical soft tissue injuries. RICE translates to: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. If pain or swelling persists beyond 2-3 days, a physician should be consulted.

That’s beneficial  once an injury has occurred, but let’s talk about preventing these injuries in the first place. Here are 9 viable ways to prevent injuries in sports that should be included in everyone’s “safety-first” game plan.

  1. Include a trainer or physician  in the script. A thorough medical examination at least six weeks before starting a sports or exercise is just what the doctor ordered to diagnosis potential weaknesses and problems.
  2. Water, water everywhere. Good hydration is vital.
  3. Easier does it. Caution against overdoing it – especially in the beginning. Build gradually. Remember, Duane Johnson wasn’t built in a day.
  4. Warm up and stretchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Stretching lengthens muscles and boosts blood flow and muscle temperature. It’s best to begin with a cardiovascular workout and end with easy stretches.  A cool warm-up should last 10-15 minutes.
  5. Gear up. Make sure the body is protected, equipment is properly geared to the sport, and replaced when worn. Gear can be expensive, but these sports fundraising ideas can help.
  6. Size players up. Rather than grouping athletes by their age, it’s better to group them by size and ability.
  7. Make proper form the norm. Not doing the sport using the right techniques can lead to sprained ligaments and strains. When coaches understand form, and require it from players,  efficiency increases and overuse injuries decrease.
  8. Cross-train. As the American Orthopedics Association recommends, “Team practice should be varied and contain different activity periods of intensity and physical purpose.”
  9. Even injured stars should sit out. Your team is down by a few points and you might pull it off if Suzie goes in, but she’s been complaining about pain in her knee. It’s tough to resist the chance for a big win, but prove your mettle as a coach by not letting her play. The risk to her and your organization is not worth it.

Make sure your sports participants and facility are protected from harm and liability. At Anthony Insurance Services, we’d be delighted to discuss your needs and the best, most cost-effective and “ouch-free” sports liability and accident coverage available.



National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases:

Active Orthopedic and Sports Medicine: