Heyo, Savannah! As we celebrate National Coach’s Day, we think of all the great coaches we’ve known through our lives who have pushed us and guided us and mentored us – even when we didn’t know it!
A great coach can do more than make a team better. A great coach can make us better people! We may not agree with them, and we may not understand why they’re hard on us while we’re in the moment. But on reflection, it’s easy to see why they did what they did.
Another thing great coaches do? They keep us from getting hurt. They watch out for us, and help us push ourselves without going too far. They teach us how to treat others, and how to play the game safe.
(And when you forget to listen to Coach and you do go too far, that’s what we’re here for at UKC!)
What are some of the most common youth football injuries coaches watch out for? Let’s go through them.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #1 – Contusions (Bruises)
By far, the most common youth football injury is the contusion, or bruise. There’s not a whole heck of a lot you can do about them, but the good news is the vast majority of them heal up quick. If your bruise isn’t healing up quick, you better bring your football star to us to check them out. Most of the time, it’s nothing, but once in a while, a bruise that doesn’t heal is a sign of a more serious injury.
The only way to prevent bruises is to not hit or get hit! And that’s hard to do. But get your pads on right and that will help.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #2 – Torn ACL
We all hear about the dreaded ACL tear. Torn ACLs happen quite a bit in many high intensity sports, including football. There’s a strong ligament in your knee called the “anterior cruciate ligament” because it crosses with other ligaments holding your knee together. When you put too much pressure on your leg and your muscles overpower your ligaments, the tear – and it hurts!
The good news is they can heal up right, but it takes time and patience. The right kind of physical therapy should get you fixed up – if you’re patient. If you think you have a torn ACL, come to UKC and we’ll have a look. We’ll help you get back on the field as quickly as possible – but understand: it might take some time, especially if you’re not patient and careful.
The best way to prevent an ACL is to stretch properly. Not too little, but not too much. Build up the strength of your ligaments the same way you build up your muscles – by working them.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #3 – Meniscus Tears (MCL) – Knee & Elbow
Another common knee injury is a meniscus tear. This hurts like an ACL tear, but in this case it can be hard to move your leg around. Your knee can pop and feel stuck. And it hurts a lot. Again, this is the kind of injury that takes time to hear properly. You can’t rush it! If you think maybe you tore your meniscus come on by and we’ll help you get fixed up.
Again, the best way to prevent a meniscus tear is to make sure the muscles around your joints are strong. Don’t overwork the, but build them up safely over time with hard work and patience.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #4 – Concussion
Concussions are the big one that everyone talks about. Tackles done wrong can lead to concussions – as can many other high intensity youth sports actions. Hitting your head is never great, but it’s especially bad when you hit it so hard you lose consciousness or get woozy. If you lose consciousness after a head injury, do NOT come to Urgent Kidz Care – go straight to an emergency room and tell them what happened!
It’s really important to get checked out after a hard hit to your noggin’. And I mean whether you’re playing football or not! Any way it happens, we’re here for that. Concussions aren’t anything to mess around with, especially in young people. They’re a too-common youth football injury, but they happen other ways, too!
Common Youth Football Injuries: #5 – Sprained Ankle
Sprains are similar to the tears we talked about in the knee because they involve ligaments again. They happen all the time, especially if you come down funny, and some are worse than others. There are mild ankle sprains that go away in minutes and there are more serious ones that take a long time to heal up right. If you’re worried, come on by and see us, we’ll make sure you’re on the right track.
The right kind of stretching can help you prevent sprains, but honestly they happen quite a bit and they’re kinda hard to prevent altogether. When you do get a sprain, try to use ice to reduce the swelling and if you need to, come on down to UKC.
Common Youth Football Football Injuries: #6 – Muscle Strain / Torn Muscles
Muscle strains are no fun! A muscle strain is just a minor or localized muscle tear. Generally, a muscle tear is much larger and takes a bit longer to heal up properly. Neither are my idea of a good time. But in youth football, they happen. If you think your muscle strain is serious, come down to UKC and we’ll check you out.
The best way to prevent muscle tears and strains is to stretch properly before working out hard (or playing).
Common Youth Football Injuries: #7 – Shin Splints
Similar to muscle strains and joint sprains, shin splints are overworked muscles and ligaments in your shins. And as you may know if you’re reading this, they are no fun! The thing about shin splints is that your shins almost never get enough love! Quads and glutes and calves often get some good stretching and work, but shins are hugely important, often overworked, and more often overlooked! So take care of your shins and they’ll take care of you.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #8 – Join Dislocations
Dislocated joints like knees and shoulders are never good. Sometimes, if things get popped back into place quickly, they’re not so bad. Regardless, you asked too much of that joint that dislocated, so take it easy on it. Get back to healthy workout levels to strengthen those muscles and tendons so to try to prevent future dislocations. The more they happen, the harder it is to stop them repeating.
If this is happening to you, look at your workouts. Your form may not be quite right. And if you’re concerned, or you need somebody to look at a joint that was recently painfully dislocated, UKC has your back! And your shoulder, and your knee, and… Well, you get the drift.
Common Youth Football Injuries: #9 – Tendonitis (also Tendinitis)
Back to those tendons that hold everything together, take care of them! Tendonitis is a sign of overworked joints and muscles. When the pain won’t go away, it’s time to rest and heal up. I know you want to get back out there and play! But your body is telling you to rest, so listen to it.
If your tendonitis won’t go away, or there’s something else alarming about it, come on by UKC and we’ll have a looksie. We want you to help up properly so you can get back at it, but you have to do your part.
So there you have it Savannah! These are the injuries your coaches are trying to keep you from getting. So listen to them. Drill those techniques and get them right. Work out hard, but not too much so you can get your body in peak shape and avoid some of these injuries. Listen to coach, he’s got your best interest at heart.
Happy National Coach’s Day, from UKC!