Sports Injuries: Poor Conditioning or Dangerous Accidents?

By: Caleb Sopher—(grade 10)—

A broken foot, fractured ankle, broken arm, or a concussion–how long before it becomes too much?  These are some of the many gruesome and damaging injuries to the various team members at Tussey. 

Finding injured sports athletes is very easy in these dangerous times. Sophomore Colton Bishop, a varsity football player and starting track athlete, has suffered injuries throughout his sports career. “I had a fractured ankle last season which still bothers me.” This is also the case for sophomore Kaylee Coffman, another injured sports athlete, who had a foot injury during soccer that still affects her sometimes.  According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, “28% of football players” and “22% of soccer players get injured while playing their sport.” Is it not enough conditioning for the players? Athletes in both sports have differing thoughts on the matter. 

Coffman, who plays varsity soccer, said that her coach does “a lot of conditioning such as running around cones and doing the ladder exercise to improve footwork.”  Bishop, on the other hand, felt that his coach is not as tough on conditioning. In the sport of football, Bishop has to condition by running four quarters, which is a conditioning exercise where players have to run down the side of the field and back twice. It is designed to help your breathing after running for a long time.

Melody Toth, a sports trainer of 45 years, explains, “While your body can be in peak position and you workout 365 days a year, you have the same chance of injuring yourself as someone that has never conditioned before.” According to Toth, these various injuries can affect people down the road, especially concussions.  The most common injuries Toth has to deal with are: ankle, wrist, and concussion injuries. When asked if she thinks sports are dangerous, she responded by saying, “No, as long as you have the right equipment.” 

A burning question among parents and students is: “Do you think that it is a bad idea for young children to play football or hockey at a young age such as 7-8 years old?” Toth quickly responded, “No, it’s not because those kids get old hand me down [equipment], and the equipment never fits.” ”If you use equipment that doesn’t fit you,” explains sophomore varsity football player, Kyle Williams, “it won’t absorb the impact [on the field].” Injuries sustained could be very serious. Sophomore backup quarterback and safety Chad Weist shares his concern this football season as his “football helmet doesn’t inflate as it should, but it [meets] the minimum safety requirements for playing.”

  The bottom line is that sports can be dangerous: it’s a risk you have to take with dangerous plays, faulty equipment or careless injuries.

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