Injury Prevention


General information

Supervision

Constant supervision of children and young athletes must occur. Always respect the tandem rule; avoid one-on-one situations.

Transportation

When it is necessary to transport an injured person, you only have two options: the parents of the injured player or the ambulance services. Never take on this responsibility or allow a third party to do so.

Also, it is important to ensure that regular transportation of the people involved be as safe as possible. For example, if the weather conditions do not cooperate or if a person is in an intoxicated state, you must act accordingly.

Lodging

During a road trip, it is essential to properly plan lodging for young athletes. The choice of hotel, the reservation of rooms in proximity to one another and the distancing of those adults who may be a disturbance past athlete curfews are factors to consider.


Physical conditioning

Terminology

  • Aerobic
    Type of activity which allows the body to maintain its’ rhythm of exercise for a long period of time (example: jogging, power walking, etc.).
  • Anaerobic
    Type of activity which requires a use of energy too intense for the body to maintain for an extended period of time (example: hockey, sprint, etc.).
  • Endurance
    Muscular exercise which develops the ability to execute a large number of repetitions with a given weight.
  • Reinforcement
    Muscular exercise that develops strength thus uses a restricted number of repetitions with a significant weight.
  • Flexibility
    The maximum length of muscles and tendons which allows or limits a certain articular amplitude.
  • Laxity
    The maximum length of the articular capsule which allows or limits a certain articular amplitude.

Age adapted

We all know that the human body does not possess the same characteristics for different age groups, not only physically and mentally but also bio-chemically and hormonally. Yet, still today we see muscular training sessions aimed at reinforcement and gaining muscle mass for youth less than 12 years old.

In order to allow youth to develop to their full potential and to ensure safe and valid training, we should all take an interest in working on the physical qualities corresponding to the relevant age group. A brief chart is presented here to guide you in this respect.

  • Children (5-10)
    Motor development and application of skills through play
  • Adolescents (11-15)
    Add muscular endurance and aerobic workouts
  • Young adults (16-21)
    Add reinforcement and anaerobic workouts
  • Adults (21 +)
    Same as young adults, but gradually diminish the anaerobic work with age
  • Seniors
    Aimed at training muscular endurance and aerobic capacity


Warm-Up / Stretching

Pre-activity: Beneficial or not?

In spite of what we can say about it, no scientific research allows us to confirm with certainty that a period of warm-up and stretching prior to an activity will diminish the risk of injury. Nevertheless, it seems logical to believe that progressively increasing one’s metabolic activity and increasing the elasticity of the muscular fascia before an intense physical effort would be beneficial. It is therefore acceptable and preferable to adopt this practice.

How do we go about it?

The warm-up period should begin with a gradual increase in the metabolic activity level involving the entire body. Jogging (on-the-spot or not), jumping jacks or other movements are adequate. Two minutes is sufficient to attain the desired effect. Next, a variety of muscular stretching exercises are appropriate. The exercises should be selected according to the sport practiced; however, the series of exercises presented here, will respond to the needs of all sports activities. Download file (PDF document – 51 KB).

Stretching to gain flexibility

Stretching exercises are essential to maintain good flexibility. On this point, there is no doubt that adequate flexibility prevents injuries. If we are incapable of executing a ‘’split” and during an activity we are suddenly forced to do one due to a fall, the adductor muscles attached to the groin region will have no other choice than to tear.

To increase flexibility, stretching must be done according to a regimen of repetitions (5X) and be held in position for thirty (30) seconds at each repetition. This requires a considerable amount of time. It is therefore impractical, even harmful, to execute them just before a sports activity. This type of stretching must be planned for specific training sessions.


Equipment

Sport appropriate

Each sport has its’ specific needs for clothing, footwear and protective gear.

Obviously, a soccer player would be uncomfortable wearing a ski jacket. However, what about the protective helmet of an alpine skier versus that of a snowboarder?

There is no doubt that sports equipment is more and more specialized due to the development of new materials and our increased knowledge of biomechanics. At the same time, there is certainly also a question of style associated with each sport. How can we make the right purchase? Don’t hesitate to question experienced salespeople. They should be able to supply explanations along with manufacturer guarantees or information.

Adjustment and maintenance

Equipment should correspond to the size of the individual wearing it. It should protect the entire anatomical surface for which it was designed without hindering joint movement.

It is important to adequately maintain one’s equipment. Allow for proper drying time so that the materials used conserve their qualities of absorption and elasticity. Furthermore, it is your responsibility to verify on a regular basis whether or not equipment is damaged, and to repair or replace the item(s) in question.

Damaged equipment can be the cause of unnecessary injury. Be sure not to alter pieces of equipment. Ask the advice of qualified people if you have any doubts.


Safety

Outside the playing surface

  • Ensure the good discipline of athletes in the change rooms and elsewhere.
  • Opt for a policy of zero tolerance for use of alcohol, drugs and power drinks.
  • Check the condition of corridors and change rooms.
  • Be familiar with emergency exits.
  • Always have your first aid kit ready and on hand.
  • Ensure that transportation is safe.
  • Always maintain supervision of players.
  • Know exactly where you are situated in case of need of ambulance services.

On the playing surface

  • Inspect the condition of the playing surface and the equipment.
  • Ensure that protective gear is in good condition and properly used.
  • Always have water available for hydration purposes.
  • Always have ice ready to use in case of injury.
  • Do not accept that athletes chew gum during the game.
  • Avoid jewelry.
  • Make sure that long hair is attached.


Medical history

Each athlete should provide a complete list of his or her medical history. Knowledge of past medical events allows the person responsible for the management of injuries to provide follow-up that is much more adequate and safe. An identical health form for all the participants facilitates management of information. We have provided you with a form that you may use. Download file (PDF document – 60 KB).


First-aid Kit

Each team should possess a first-aid kit. It doesn’t have to be very elaborate and remember that items for which the knowledge of use is not acquired are useless. A list has been prepared for your use. Download file (PDF document – 77 KB).

In section 2 you will find several procedures indicating the function of certain items contained in the kit. It is important to remind you here that taking a first-aid course and C.P.R. is a definite advantage in helping your athletes.


Emergency plan

Importance

Putting in place an emergency plan is imperative for all sporting events. Serious injuries require excellent first aid coordination in order to ensure optimal efficiency and to potentially save a life. And yet it is in this area that we observe the greatest negligence.

Persons responsible

A minimum of two people (preferably three) on site should be able to put in place the very important task of implementing an emergency plan. One person should be responsible for first aid and would look after the injured person directly, making quick decisions as necessary. Another person should manage spectators and be ready to call 911 or help if needed. If the third person were available, they would take charge of the spectators instead.

Procedures

The person responsible for first aid may come across one of three situations:

  • He/she intervenes on behalf of the injured party and is able through their knowledge and circumstances to effectively manage the injury and ensure a safe exit from the game.
  • The first aid designate needs some help and/or time before making a decision and in order to manage the injury. He/she will signal (hand on the head) to ask the designated partner to assist.
  • The person judges that ambulance services are necessary immediately. He/she signals (fist in the air) to the designated partner who then quickly dials 911.

 


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