We all know how much fun it is to play sports, especially if you are playing soccer with a team of friendly and supportive Grasshopper Soccer players!
But getting hurt is not a lot of fun.
If you follow these 5 simple steps, you can avoid injury, spend more time playing and spend less time sitting on the sidelines!
1. Wear protective gear needed (shin pads, and other gear).
2. Warm up and cool down.
3. Know the rules of the game.
4. Watch out for others.
5. Don't play when you're injured.
Let's find out more about each of these.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear is anything you wear that helps keep you from getting hurt. In our case, it means turning up to each Grasshopper Soccer session with your shin guards in place, and if you are playing goalie, your gloves. And don't forget your feet. Cleats are worn in soccer as these shoes have special rubber or plastic points on the soles to help your feet grip the ground when you run around.
It's not a good idea to just bolt on to the field and start playing. You shouldn't even start stretching until you're a little warmed up. So take a light jog to get loosened up and ready to play. Your Grasshopper Soccer coach will give you warm up exercises to perform.
Know the Rules of the Game
Traffic lights at intersections help prevent crashes between the many cars and trucks that drive on the roads together. This works because drivers know the rules and follow them — at least most of the time. It's the same way with sports.
When players know the rules of the game — what's legal and what's not — fewer injuries happen. You and the other players know what to expect from each other. For instance, you know that in soccer you can't come from behind, crash into a player's legs, and steal the ball. It's legal — and safer — to go after the ball rather than the player.
Watch Out for Others
Some rules don't have anything to do with scoring points or penalties. Some rules are just about protecting other people and being courteous. One way you can watch out for others is to communicate on the field. Listening to your coach during a game also can help keep you safe. It's also good to just be courteous, like telling someone his or her shoe is untied. Check your shoes, too!
Don't Play When You're Injured
This is a really important one. If you love sports, it's tempting to get right back in the game, even after an injury. But playing when you're hurt — or before an injury has had a chance to fully heal — is a bad idea.
It can lead to an even worse injury, one that might sideline you for a long time.
Be honest with parents and coaches if you've been hurt. See a doctor for your injuries, when necessary, and follow his or her advice about how and when to return to practice and play.
Now you know what kids need to know about staying safe.
Hopefully, if you follow rules 1, 2, 3, and 4, you won't need number 5. Or at least not quite as often!