Football is one of the most-watched sport in the US. Last year, it had about 16.5 million spectators per game. A five-percent increase from 2018. It is also one of the most played sports in the US, with thousands of high schoolers and undergrads wanting to get into their favorite team.
However, it is also one of the most dangerous sports in the world, with many injuries occurring from playing the sport each year. But this shouldn’t stop you from playing this American pastime. By keeping yourself prepared and healthy, you should be able to avoid injuries and keep yourself fit while playing on the field. Here are some ways you can do that.
Stretching is one of the most fundamental activities in every sport. The main reason for this is that stretching can keep your muscles flexible and strong for the game’s duration. That could make the difference between suffering an injury and avoiding it.
It’s good to have a stretching routine before every game and practice. This can help develop your muscles, prepare your body for the upcoming game, and keep yourself mentally alert. This can also be a social moment where you share some strategies with your teammate. Also, remember to stretch every after practice or game. This is aids in relaxing your muscles, helping you cool down, and reduces the chances of muscle ache the next day.
Playing football means you are going to tackle someone. A lot. Tackling is one of the main activities of the sport and why so many enjoy it. It’s exhilarating when you get to defend your side of the field with a well-timed tackle. But by doing it wrong, you could get yourself into a bad injury. Remember that tackling correctly is one of the fundamentals you should learn before playing football. It’s not as simple as tackling someone in a bar fight. Remember, you’re playing a sport, not getting yourself in the fight.
When tackling someone, always keep your head up. Many will drop their heads to protect themselves from the target, but by doing so, they lose vision of the target. When you lose sight of the target, that’s when you get a nasty whiplash injury from hitting your head in your target’s torso. By keeping your head up, you avoid getting injured because you know where you’re going to land.
Next is to keep your back straight. Don’t arch your back when you’re tackling because that would give your upper body more stress from the force of tackling someone. Lastly, is to grab the target by the back of their legs. This can make your tackle more effective. Remember to never catch your target if they fall. Good football players know how to land correctly after a tackle, so by catching someone’s fall, you’re more likely to get yourself into an injury.
Always hydrate properly when playing football. A dehydrated body can lead to muscle fatigue, cramps, and in some cases, an injury
Not hydrating properly during games can injure your performance because your blood is not getting the necessary nutrients it needs. It also stops your body from circulating properly, leading to awful cramps during the game. In some situations, not getting hydrated can also lead you to lose focus in the game. Many more awful things could happen when you don’t hydrate, so keep yourself in the game by drinking lots of water.
Always Wear Proper Equipment
If you’re planning to play a game or two on the weekend, make sure that you bring the necessary equipment for playing. Not wearing the proper equipment will not only lead you to an injury, but you pose a risk to others as well. Have the necessary helmet, mouthguard, shoulder and knee pads, and cleats for the game. This way, you can protect yourself from injury and make the game fun.
If you’re playing in a more professional setting, this is a suggestion you should heed every time. Your coach, whether you like it or not, is looking out for you in the field. By not following his suggestions or plays, you’re going to lose the game, or worse, you could get injured. If your coach tells you that you shouldn’t push yourself too hard, then don’t! Remember, there are many more games out there, and you can’t play one if you’re injured.