Here are tips that can help you protect your
kids from injury during the game of soccer
Soccer is a physical game that can subject players to potential injuries, some of which can be quite serious. Although physical contact between players is not a planned part of the game of soccer, the inevitable clashes during a match are as much a part of the game as controlling the ball.
From a spectator's standpoint, soccer does not seem like a physically brutal event, especially the way some players glide across the pitch like gazelles in the open range. Sometimes soccer players merely glance off each other in ballet fashion. But, for anyone who has been out on the soccer pitch in competition, the likelihood of getting hurt is ever present and there is probably not one soccer player out there who hasn't hit the ground or bounced off of an opponent or has had cuts and bruises.
These minor incidents pose no real threat to a soccer player's physical well-being. As all soccer parents can attest, physical contact while playing soccer is unavoidable. The obvious question, then, is - how do we keep the unavoidable contact from causing more than a few aches and pains?
There are actually two facets that come into play when considering the precautions that can be taken to keep your youth soccer player from getting seriously hurt. The one and oft thought primary consideration, of course, is soccer shin guards, the only real physical protection that a soccer player wears. Besides shin guards, a soccer player's body is virtually unprotected. And that vulnerability to injury is what makes the second consideration of paramount importance.
Soccer kids need to be taught how to think about avoiding injuries as part of the game. It is the mental attitude and knowledge of a player's own ability to anticipate potentially harmful situations and take actions to avoid them that can make the difference between being able to get up off the pitch and play on or get carried off.
Too often youth soccer coaches, in their zeal to compose a winning team, will spend too little time on safety. Safe play can be reinforced with pre-game and post game examples of what happens when certain actions are taken and what can be done differently to achieve a safer outcome the next time a similar situation presents itself. And kids need to understand that danger can come from not only their own actions, but that of the other soccer players on the pitch. They need to know how to avoid a charging opponent, while still maintaining control of the ball.
The key is to teach your kids an awareness of the safety aspects of the game of soccer. Then parents need not fear for their kids' safety on the soccer field when they are properly trained. Kids already have an inherent sense for avoiding harm and parents just need to make sure that their kids keep this sense sharp and how to apply it in any given situation.
The bottom line is - no potential glory on the soccer pitch is worth sacrificing the body for. There will be another day and another glory when good judgment is used.
Till Next Time,
Soccer From The Pitch
Bernie Rosellen has played and been involved with soccer for over thirty years. He has coached youth soccer teams for almost twenty years. He still plays on two adult soccer teams in the Richmond, VA area today. Tapping his experiences as a soccer player and soccer coach, he writes articles as, Soccer From The Pitch, and provides content for websites such as http://www.SoccerCountry.com
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