Data for Injury Prevention

There is date out there on every subject imaginable. Everything has been studied and analyzed to death. People are interested in stats and figures and how they impact business profits, customer habits (isn’t it always about sales these days?). Trends come from all this probing and who doesn’t want to be in the midst of the next big one? Data can also be of use in the field of sports like basketball for example. I was contacted recently by a school with a newly-formed team and they hired me to construct a report on injuries in different age groups. Armed with this knowledge, the coach could build a good training regimen and devise tactics for new basketball players to avoid harm to the them.

I broke my information down by age and type of injury, focusing on the back, sprained hands and ankles, and pulled tendons and muscles. Some are common and easy to remedy while others are unusual and no doubt caused by falls and mishaps on the court. If players do not warm up and stretch, they are subject to regular problems. It depends on one’s body type and weight. Sports that have some kind of contact are rife with injuries, like football. They are of a different nature, however, than those arising from basketball games. I love that those of us who ply our trades in the information age can even help kids in school with extra-curricular activities. It is never enough to react after the fact (such as is happening all the time with concussions. We treat them, but the game goes on). It is vital to predict what can happen when things go wrong. After all, no coach wants a team full of players wearing braces and walking on crutches.

We don’t like the idea that sports aren’t safe, especially for children. Of course, we are concerned about adult amateurs and professionals. Basketball players do not wear protective gear and prevention of injury has to come from the way the game is played. Adhering to the rules is fundamental. I believe that it would help for every coach to invite a sports medicine specialist to speak to the team from time to time about the problem. Why does one person turn an ankle easily, and another doesn’t. There are some people who just aren’t cut out for the game. Risk comes with any physical activity, even a casual gym workout. It is amplified with you are talking about competitive sports where the intensity of the game increases.

Injury prevention comes with knowledge and good playing practices. Bad habits must be stopped and better ones put in their place. Keeping healthy in general will help players with their stamina. When you are tired, you are likely to incur injury. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating right are key to successful athletic endeavors. Yes, eat that apple before you play basketball! Drink plenty of water and take breaks.