How To Prevent Injuries As An NFL Player: 7 Tips That Will Work
Sports is undisputedly one of the greatest things on the planet. The amount of joy (and yes, pain) it brings to millions yearly is unmeasurable. All this is thanks to the thousands of athletes who put in the effort to bring us thrilling moments and entertainment.
But sometimes, sport is not all rosy. Athletes suffer very painful injuries, especially in games like football and leagues like the NFL, where a lot of physicalities are involved.
According to data from the NFL (National Football League), roughly 68% of NFL players might get injured in a season. Another report also stated that for every game a player plays, he has a 4.1% chance of missing the next due to injury. These stats don’t lie, and unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to totally prevent sports injuries; they can only be minimized.
The disastrous effects of injuries are numerous. Asides from the pains they cause the players and their careers, it can also affect the outcomes of good NFL player props bets, according to FanDuel.com. Luckily, there are some ways NFL players can prevent injuries, and we’ll be sharing some here.
7 Injury Prevention Tips For NFL Players
Here are some ways NFL players can reduce their chances of getting injured.
1. Stay in Shape
Yes, we know it’s the off-season and time to enjoy the summer. But if you want your body to stand a better chance against injuries, you’ll try your best to stay in shape. Even if you go with the lazy summer mantra, ensure you engage in fitness activities before the start of a new season.
Cardio exercises are good for building stamina and endurance, allowing you to play for longer and resist fatigue that causes injuries. Strength building exercises will also help in strengthening muscles and joint support. This will greatly reduce the risk of injury on the field.
2. Pre-Season Checkups
A pre-season checkup is one of the most vital steps before resuming any NFL season. Aside from its positive influence on a player’s performance and lowering injury risk, it can also help detect life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular problems common with NFL players. These checkups will also look at past injuries and see how they might affect you in the upcoming season.
During pre-season checkups, seek consultation from sports medicine experts, nutritionists, and health care professionals. As experts in health matters, they will show you things you need to eat, the amount of weight you need to gain, and ways you can prevent yourself from getting injured.
3. Pre-Game Warmup
Warming up before a game is a very common injury prevention tip. It affects both the physicality and mentality of the player. For starters, it prepares your body and mind for the rigorous experience of the football pitch.
It’ll also help improve your muscle’s elasticity, elevate your body’s temperature, and enhance your joint motion. Running a short distance and doing a few stretches before a game is enough to gear up your body for the field.
4. Proper Gear
A typical NFL game has different players hitting themselves forcefully, and while it may be beautiful to watch, it isn’t always safe. That’s why it’s important that players always wear the right gear. From helmets to pads and even footwear, everything must be quality.
Over the past years, reports have shown the deep connection between football and brain damage. Many parents are now stopping their kids from going into football because of this. Even the NFL is very serious about gear. Any player that removes their helmet without proper cause in the middle of a game will face penalties. The rules are very clear; players must wear complete protective gear at all times.
Standard protective items include thigh guards, mouthguards, shoulder pads, athletic supporters, knee pads, helmets, cleats, and tail and hip padding. Even if it’s not a professional game, ensure you wear protective gear because injuries can happen in training too.
5. Take Advice from Trainers and Coach
No matter how talented you are as a player, you’ll encounter many difficulties in your career without proper guidance from your trainers and coaches.
They will teach you proper tackling and body control techniques that’ll reduce your chances of getting an injury. You’ll be taught how to control your body when falling and the best ways to avoid nasty tackles.
Also, if you feel discomfort in your body, no matter how mild it is, report it to your coach or health care professional. These little pains usually show signs of a more serious injury.
And if, unfortunately, you get injured, book an appointment with a physical therapist, and they’ll guide you through your entire recovery process. This is important because asides from maintaining your physical body, you have to care for your mental health too. They both work in hand.
6. Stay Hydrated
As an NFL player, water should be one of your best friends. People usually undermine the importance of hydration in an athlete’s life, and they are grossly wrong.
Dehydration can and will negatively affect your career in ways you can’t imagine. Besides fatigue and illness, dehydration can cause your muscles to cramp, leaving you susceptible to injuries.
To prevent this, always drink water. An NFL player needs to take at least 16 ounces of water hours before a game and a cup of water right before he comes on to play. During intense training exercises, taking four ounces of water every twenty minutes is advisable.
Energy and sports drinks are good too, but you should avoid taking too much. They both contain sugar, and too much of that can be dangerous to you as an athlete. If you can, always walk around with a water bottle; it allows you to stay hydrated.
The NFL is a league that features some of the world’s most athletic and energetic players. Games are usually filled with high adrenaline and tension that stress the body. One of the major ways to recover lost energy is rest, good rest.
After every game or strenuous practice, go for a light walk and try to notice any discomfort in your body. You might have missed them because of the adrenaline rush in your body.
Also, rest doesn’t just end with your physical body; rest your brain too. Watch a movie, have fun conversations with your friends, anything that’ll lift your mood.
Lastly, always ensure you get good sleep. Don’t forget to dedicate a good amount of your time to sleep because it’ll catch up with you if you don’t.
The Bottom Line
As an NFL player, you want to do anything to have a career free from injury. Although this is not entirely in your control, you can help yourself by following some injury prevention tips.
Remember to always stay in shape. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or not, always take care of your body. Also, ensure you warm up before entering a game, wear the proper gear, stay hydrated, and rest well.
Lastly, always heed the advice of your coaches and trainers. They are experienced and know what’s best for you. If you have an injury or notice any slight pain in your body, report it so you can get inspected early. If you commit to all these tips, you might just enjoy an injury-free career.