Basketball is a way of life for millions of American teens. It's fun to play and great exercise, but basketball is also a contact sport, and injuries happen. Also, because basketball players play year-round, indoors and out, many get repetitive stress injuries like tendonitis.
To stay as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Safe Basketball Gear
Safety gear for basketball includes:
- a mouthguard to prevent broken teeth and mouth and tongue injuries (this is required in some leagues)
- protective eyewear
All basketball players should also wear:
- basketball sneakers that are supportive and fit well
- an athletic supporter (for guys)
- a supportive sports bra (for girls)
Safe Basketball Training
To prevent injuries during training:
- Be in good shape before starting the season.
- Always warm up and stretch before practice and games.
- Stop training if you get hurt or feel pain. Get checked by an athletic trainer, coach, doctor, or nurse before going back to training.
- Play different sports throughout the year to prevent overuse injuries.
All coaches should emphasize safe, fair play. This includes:
- knowing the rules of the game
- making sure the court is in good condition
- having a first-aid kit available at all practices and games