Soccer is one of the most popular recreational sports in the United States because it is fun to play at any age. Just like every other sport, soccer players can expect to suffer a fair share of injuries. While most of these injuries are not very serious, it is still important to try to stay as healthy as possible. These are the four best ways to avoid common soccer injuries.
Get Your Body Loose
The joints and muscles in the body start to get tight when they are not used. Attempting to play with cold muscles is almost certainly going to lead to an injury. Perform a few light exercises like jumping jacks and running in place before ramping up your physical activity. These exercises need to be done for about five minutes in order to be effective. You will also want to stretch your muscles during and after the game.
Stay in Good Shape
Soccer is a very physically demanding sport. It is not uncommon for players to run several miles during one game. A poorly-conditioned body is going to fail when put under that much stress. This is why you need to make sure you are in good shape before stepping on the field. Since most of the injuries related to poor conditioning occur at the beginning of the season, it is important to stay physically active when off the field.
Wear the Proper Equipment
Soccer requires a lot less equipment than most other sports. You may think you can play without the proper equipment, but this mindset can easily result in injuries. Shin guards protect the lower legs when players inevitably get kicked by or collide with other players. One kick to the shin could lead to a broken leg without the right shin guards. It is also important to wear cleats specifically designed for soccer to avoid injuries on slick fields.
Maintain the Field
A poorly maintained field can wreak havoc on a soccer game. While this is not an issue at the professional level, it is often an issue when playing recreational soccer. A lot of soccer injuries can be avoided by glancing at the field before the game. Make sure to look out for holes, rocks, and other hazards.