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The LEAP Student Blog

Sydney Rains, Lyle HS: 'Preventing Injuries in High School Sports'

Author:Sydney Rains

Preventing Injuries in High School Sports

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, youth sports draw a participant pool of around 45 million each year. The CDC also states that high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year. To make athletes feel more at ease and avoid injury, better preventative maintenance programs should be implemented in high school sports.
Injury in athletics is a problem I have not only seen others go through, but also something I have experienced firsthand. During my freshman year of track, I experienced a stress fracture in my left foot. After running half a season on a foot that left me immobile after every race, I finally paid a visit to a doctor. The diagnosis was a stress fracture due to overuse. I was in a walking boot for three months. I sat out that year watching my friends compete at the state track meet where my midseason 100m hurdles times would have placed me in the top three.

Sophomore year, I came back hungry for redemption. Fortunately, I had a successful season. After moving up a classification, I still managed to place ninth at state. After missing the 8th place podium spot by three-hundredths of a second, I could not wait to see what I could do in my junior season.
Alas, a severed ligament decided to get in the way of my junior year track dreams. During my third game basketball back from being out for three weeks from a concussion, I tore my anterior talofibular ligament. I spent another three months in a walking boot. All thanks to basketball. Despite my love for the game, I hurt myself nearly every time I step on a court. Not only was I out for half of my basketball season, but I had to spend track season being the manager.

Now it’s my senior year. I made the decision to sit out basketball season and manage instead. Track season has rolled along and I am still experiencing trouble with my ankle. I never knew how long an injury like mine could affect me. I still continue to push through and I am hoping to put up some good numbers for my senior year. 

In college, I plan to major in exercise science. My ultimate goal is to become a physician with a specialization in athletes. Ensuring that other athletes do not fall to the same fate as I is something I really care about and wish to advocate for as my future in the medical field progresses.
Making sure coaches know how to properly train their athletes is such an important part of creating an injury-free environment. In addition to this, having access to a certified athletic trainer gives athletes the opportunity to get professional help with problems before they turn into serious injuries. At my school, I am fortunate to have access to an athletic trainer who helps me with things like running form, tape jobs, rehabilitation, and massaging out my cramped calves. Though some injuries can be unavoidable, taking steps to prevent injury in high school sports will help encourage participation and avoid situations like mine from affecting other athletes.

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