Herrington 1Amber HerringtonMrs. LesterAdv. Comp11 October 2011 Athletic Injuries Researchers have found that 60 percent of injuries related to sports have occurred duringa practice (Sport’s Injury Statistics). All coaches cringe at the words “your player has beeninjured.” An injury is never a good sign because a single player can be a huge fraction of a team.Injures range in seriousness, but all injuries should be taken seriously. Healing an injury can bethe hardest part of the process and time will always play a crucial role. Players can be taken outfor a game or maybe even an entire season depending on the one moment that the coach decidesto bench a player or allow her to keep playing. However, coaches have taken extra precautionsto avoid the chance of an injury or for the injury to worsen. To be successful, an effectivesoftball coach must understand every aspect of injuries on the field. For one thing; Specific energy systems constitute agility which determines how injuryprone an athlete is during the game. In fact, sports therapists have found that there are three basicenergy systems that each have to do with a specific part of an athlete’s agility for her specificsport. The first system is the speed system (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting).The speed system is the first system to start working when a person is faced with “a quick andstrong cardio challenge” (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). It also gives ten totwelve seconds of a large boost of energy to the athlete when faced with a sprinting type of
Herrington 2cardio exercise (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). This quick boost of energycan be explained by the moment a runner steals a base in softball and has a quick shot ofadrenalin flowing through her body. The adrenaline affects the speed system for the ten totwelve seconds and allows the runner to have great energy and speed (Softball Training- StopRunning, Start Sprinting). For softball players, the speed system is more commonly usedbecause softball is a sport of quick sprints (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). Bydoing quick sprint exercises, such as 100 yard dash, the player can increase her speed while alsoincreasing her stamina so she is not tired after a running the bases or covering her position(Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). Most coaches believe it is best to run longdistances for softball, but really this does nothing for the athlete because there is no long distancein softball. It only wastes time doing something that will not help a player when she wouldmuch rather excel by doing sprints which will strengthen her agility as well as decrease thechances of fatigue (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). Another system is thespeed endurance system also known as the anaerobic lactic system or lactic acid system (SoftballTraining- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). The speed endurance system is used for more of an endurance cardio exercise that willlast from ten seconds up to ten minutes (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). Thespeed endurance system is better known for its stronger endurance than the speed system. It alsogives the muscles a burning sensation while running (Softball Training- Stop Running, StartSprinting). Of these basic energy systems, the last and also just as important is the endurancesystem. This system gives energy for more than two minutes and is most commonly used forlong distance runners (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). The endurance systemdoes not give such a strong boost of energy like the speed system or speed endurance system
Herrington 3(Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). Instead, it is more of a weak energy sourcethat is spread into about a ten minute span that will not necessarily allow the runner to movemore quickly, but it will allow her to run a farther distance. In softball, this system is mostcommonly used for pitchers and catchers due to the fact that they are two of the hardest workingpositions on the team (Softball Training- Stop Running, Start Sprinting). By strengthening thesethree energy systems, an athlete can increase her athleticism as well as her agility. Coaches know that there can be serious injuries on the field if an athlete is not fit and ableto give 100% for the game. There are two types of sports injuries, one is traumatic and the otheris known as overuse. Examples of traumatic injuries would be knee injuries and fractures (WebMd). These injuries occur mostly when an area of the body is worked and then hurt in theprocess. For example, a player slides into second base, but she hits it the wrong way andfractures her ankle. This injury could result in the athlete having to be in a sprain or cast for acouple of days to two weeks. If the injury is more serious than thought to have been, thensurgery may have to be considered (Cunha and Davis). Overuse injuries are easily explained bytheir name. An athlete that throws too much but does not warm up before throwing can easilydamage her rotator cuff (Web Md). By damaging the rotator cuff, an athlete can face months toa year of physical therapy after a surgery that reconnects the rotator cuff tendon to the humeralhead (Rotator Cuff Tears: Surgical Treatment Options). Even the smallest injuries can progressinto some of the most severe injuries. One of the most common injuries for a softball player isknee injuries. Knee injuries can determine time off from the sport or in worst case scenarios,permanent retirement from the game. If worse comes to worse, an athlete will have to get herwhole knee replaced and undergo many physical therapy sessions and take the chance of notbeing able to walk the same again. The most common and dreaded knee injury by athletes is an
Herrington 4ACL tear. This ligament is used to connect the thigh bone to the shin bone and is one of themajor ligaments found in the knee (Web Md). Researchers found that 95,000 people in theUnited States have suffered from this painful knee injury (Web Md). ACL tears are mostcommonly found in female athletes than in males, due to the way a women’s body is built (WebMd). To repair an ACL tear, a surgeon must go into the knee and drill incisions into it where thenew ACL will later be placed (Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament). PCL, LCL,and MCL are also knee injuries that are not as common as the ACL, but should be taken just asseriously if torn. Another common injury in softball players is head injuries. Athleticresearchers have found that 1.6 to 3.8 million people suffer from a sports related concussion ayear (Web Md). A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury and is caused when the body orhead specifically, is impacted with such a powerful force that the brain crashes into the walls ofthe skull (Web Md). Concussions should be taken very seriously as to the fact that they can bemild or very severe (Web Md). When there is even the least bit of fear for a concussion, athletesshould be taken out of the game and checked by a nearby doctor (Web Md). A concussion is notsomething to take lightly because if not taken seriously or ignored, it could cause permanentbrain damage or even death (Web Md). As stated, all injuries in softball, no matter how smallthey are, should be taken care of in the proper way. However, if the body is taken care ofcorrectly in the first place, an athlete will not have to be scared of tearing an ACL or such. Many athletes may believe that as long as they stretch before a game, they will be fine inthe long run, but there is more to keeping the body safe and healthy than just showing up to thegame. The first step to keeping the body healthy is partaking in a good, stable diet that is meantto keep a softball player strong and smart (Melone). It is very important to get the right amountof calories in the body especially for a softball player considering they play outside during the
Herrington 5hottest part of the year. Rebecca Scritchfield explains, “Many young women athletes dont takein enough calories, you need to nourish yourself both for growth and development as well as forlong-term health and wellness and fueling your body for your sport" (Melone). By not eatingproperly and not receiving enough nutrients, an athlete is more likely to cause an injury as wellas developing any eating disorders (Melone). Lifting weights and running before the seasonbegins can also prevent the chance of injury (Melone). As stated in Sports Training and InjuryPrevention for Teen girls, Geier anticipates that "A well-rounded, year-round program shouldcontain strength-training and cardiovascular training, as well as stretching and good nutrition”(Melone). By doing cardio exercises and weight lifting, an athlete slowly rids the risks ofinjuries during pre-season or in-season work outs as well as giving the athlete a higher advantageof being in better shape than other team mates (Melone). It is crucial to warm up correctlybefore any practice or game. Just like softball players throw to warm up their arms before agame, it is important to do exercises that will get the blood flowing through the body to preventthe chances of pulling muscles or any further injuries. William Levine has found seven easysteps to properly getting the player warmed up and ready to play the game. The first step beginswith a slow jog, for most softball players this means a lap or two around the field (Bain).Following the light jog is a serious of dynamic stretches which means stretches that involvemovement rather than just holding your arm in place (Bain). Yoga classes are recommended asthe third step because the stretches used in yoga can help with dynamic stretches in softball(Bain). The next step is static stretching which consists of holding a certain position for aboutthirty seconds (Bain). Levine then recommends that it is best to learn stretches that incorporateyour specific sport. For example, softball players would do sprint drills as part of their warmups. Keeping the body healthy is key to keeping athletes’ safe and injury free. Although it may
Herrington 6seem as though there is a lot to do for a warm up, these stretches all have a purpose to keepingthe body tough and fit. It is interesting to note the widespread use of physical therapy such as acupuncture,medicines, and even electrical shocks. These cures were used by very few doctors at one point,but are now making a mark in many therapist practices. According to Acupuncture for Athletes,“acupuncture is the insertion of needles into specific points on the body in order to prevent andtreat disease and improve overall health” (Common Questions). Acupuncture was alwaysunderstood by dealing with Chinese medicines such as Ying and Yang, or Qi and Blood flow(Common Questions). Today acupuncture is used to cure muscle groups before they have timeto affect any other part of the body (Hogan). If a muscle goes without being treated, thensometimes it can cause a pain in another part of the body that was never injured in the first place(Hogan). Acupuncture can be explained as the ability of the body to heal itself (CommonQuestions). The next and most important, types of physical therapy being studied today aremedicines and vitamins. As an athlete, it is very important to consume the correct foods andprecise amounts of the food to create energy needed for the sport. One important vitaminathletes should take is Thiamine or B1 (Li). It is said that adults should take 1.1 mg to 1.2 mg ofthis a day to gain the correct amount of energy for the day’s exercise (Li). Thiamine can also befound in whole wheat foods such as bread and cereals proving that this can also be eaten and notonly taken as a vitamin (Li). The third physical therapy method is static shocks to the muscles.This type of therapy is most commonly used for contracting muscles and making them stronger(Electric Shock Treatment- A healing force). Professionals use this to strengthen muscles thatsurround particular arthritic joints for patients, as well as increase the strength of muscles duringa therapy session (Electric Shock Treatment- A healing force). Dedicated softball player Audrie
Herrington 7Pryor says, “I have received the electric shock treatment for tendonitis in my knee. I have heardpeople say that it does not hurt, but when I received the treatment it hurt a little bit. Nothinghorrible, but I could feel the shock.” As shown the shock may hurt worse depending on theinjury and how severe it is. The outlook for medicines and physical therapy are still beingfurther explored by researchers; there is still a large amount of research to conduct in thesemedical areas. Being a softball player can mean a lot of hard work and dedication. For an athlete whoenjoys the sport, she will fight to the finish to keep her position on that team and to do her beston the field. I would greatly recommend playing this sport for the girls who believe that theyhave the intensity and dedication to be the next all-star of the team. Athletes have a chance ofgetting injured in every sport in the world; whether it be football, soccer, volleyball, evencheerleading, there will always be a large margin of chance that an athlete will get injured. It isjust part of the role in being an athlete and those who have what it takes to tough through thesechances, have the capability of throwing themselves for a ball and diving into home plate toscore the winning run. As for girls that fear a scab or a bruise, I would not recommend thisintense sport. The reason being is that softball is a “play by play” sport. This means that everyplay counts toward getting a run, out, or strike. If someone is unwilling to dive because of fearof injury, then softball is not meant for them. After all, softball is a team sport where pridestands out high after a great game and an athlete leaving with blood on her jersey is consideredthe MVP of the game.
Herrington 8 Works CitedChang, Louise, ed. "Head Injuries: Causes and Treatments." Web Md. N.p., 30 Dec. 2009. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/ head-injuries-causes-and-treatments?page=2>."Common Questions." Acupuncture for Athletes. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://acupunctureforathletes.com/questions/>.Cunha, John P., and Charles P. Davis, eds. "Broken Ankle (Ankle Fracture)." emedicine health. N.p., 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ankle_fracture/article_em.htm>.Electric Shock Treatment- A healing force. N.p., 2010. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <http://www.electricshock.org/electric-shock-treatment.html>.Hogan, Rhonda B. "Acupuncture for Sports Injuries." Trigger Point Acupuncture. N.p., 2005. Web. 2 Oct. 2011. <http://www.triggerpointacupuncture.com/ index.htm>.Klein, Michael R., ed. "Knee Ligament Injuries: PCL, LCL, MCL, and ACL Injury." Web Md. N.p., 2005. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/ fitness-exercise/knee-ligament-injuries>.Laino, Charlene. "Strains, Sprains, and Other Sports Injuries: 3 Questions." Web Md. N.p., 2005. Web. 30 Sept. 2011. <http://www.webmd.com/ fitness-exercise/features/ strains-sprains-and-other-sports-injuries-3-questions>.
Herrington 9Li, Piper. "What Vitamins Should an Athlete Take?" Livestrong. Demand Media, Inc, 10 July 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://www.livestrong.com/article/ 452734-what-vitamins-should-an-athlete-take/>.Melone, Linda. "Sports Training and Injury Prevention for Teen Girls." WebMD. N.p., 2011. Web. 10 Sept. 2011. <http://teens.webmd.com/features/ teen-girl-sports-training-injury-prevention>.Pryor, Audrie. Personal interview. 10 Oct. 2011."Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)." Southern California Orthopedic Institute. N.p., 2010. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://www.scoi.com/ aclrecon.htm>."Rotator Cuff Tears: Surgical Treatment Options." American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, May 2011. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00406>."Softball Training - Stop Running, Start Sprinting." Softball Performance. Dagenais & Associates, Inc., 2008. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <http://www.softballperformance.com/ softball-training-stop-running-start-sprinting/>."Sports Injury Statistics." Childrens Hosptial Boston. Harvard Medical School, 2005. Web. 4 Oct. 2011. <http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1112/ mainpageS1112P0.html>.