Some soccer injuries happen just as accidents anywhere: unpredictably and inevitably. But mostly, injuries can be avoided. Make sure you know how.
To become a better player, preventing injury is as important as training: you can stay on the pitch and perfect your skills. Learn how to protect yourself and everyone else:
1. Always fully recover after an injury
If there is one proven risk for injury, it is an incompletely healed previous injury. Return to play too early and you risk that your body is not yet able to cope with the stress. No match is so important. Team up with your doctor and physio to make the right choice.
2. Protect yourself with the right equipment
Shin guards protect your lower leg from bone fractures during training and matches. They need to be individually fitted to be long and wide enough to cover your whole lower leg.
Use taping or a brace after an ankle sprain as it helps to prevent a re-injury.
Goalkeepers should wear padded uniforms to protect hips, elbows and shoulders (knees during training), and proper gloves.
3. Fair Play: Respect the Laws of the Game
The Laws of the Game protect your health in that they prohibit dangerous actions known to cause severe injuries, for example when you thrust your elbow outwards in head duels. Referees will rigorously sanction players who act so ruthlessly to ignore fair play.
4. Regularly do protective exercises
Your body has natural defence mechanisms against injuries that you can train to become more “resistant” to injuries. Prevention programmes combine exercises training this defence in a structured way. But the greatest programme is not going to have much of an effect if not performed regularly. Make the “11+ - a complete warm-up to prevent injuries” part of your training routine!