Minimize your participation risk – By Kirstyn Carruthers, owner of True North Training
With the landscape of any sport, no issue is more important than the health of its performing athletes; in particular — the health of their brains.
Make no mistake; all sports are dangerous in some way and when you agree to play a sport, you are putting yourself at risk of being injured. Much like driving a car, going for a hike up a steep mountain or swimming in a lake, all sports present the risk of injury. With any of these activities, you must weigh the risk of injury versus the joy/convenience you get from performing the task (e.g., you drive a car to get somewhere faster even though car collisions are a leading cause of accidental death).
When considering this from a sport perspective, you need to assess the enjoyment you get from participating in the sport compared to how risky it is. It is the responsibility of the athletes (and parents of young athletes) to determine their personal boundaries. With this in mind, there are two things we can do to ensure we remain healthy while playing the sports we love:
- Make sure the risks of the sport are well known. Being aware of the protocol for dealing with a particular injury and the appropriate return-to-play guidelines will ensure the athlete is treated properly.
- Limit the injury risks through a focused training program. With respect to concussion prevention, many techniques can be used to strengthen the neck and muscles surrounding the spine with the intention of reducing concussions. Experienced strength and conditioning coaches can develop an appropriate strength-training program for you so you can maintain your total body health — including your brain.
In closing, the instances of injuries and concussions in modern sports are an issue of great concern but we do not need to accept that it will always be this way. Appropriate development, training and coaching will go a long way towards creating a safer sporting environment for the short and long-term health of all participants.
To learn more about how to prevent all injuries, contact Kirstyn at 289 686 1418 or visit www.truenorthtraining.ca