Injuries happen, you cannot predict them, nor on occasion can you prevent them, but you will need to know how to deal with them even before they happen or you could without thinking about it make them even worse. This is not to say that you need a medical degree to play basketball, or even any other sport. This is simply to suggest some general knowledge that will assist you when these situations should happen to yourself or your teammates.
One thing you do straight off the bat is to admit you are injured. Some players will attempt to gut injuries out and hide them from fellow teammates and coaches in an attempt to avoid loss of play time or potential demotion. When you fail to admit injury your quality of play not only can be affected, but you risk not only further aggravating that existing injury but you risk creating more severe injuries as a result of putting strain on other parts of the body.
When you suspect an injury has occurred, immediately consult the team medical staff, and if no one is available in that capacity, then you may need to go to your local hospital for tests to see if the injury may be severe enough to affect your game play.
With identifying a potential injury on the court, some simple measures like heat, or cold could be applied. Even simply staying off of it for the rest of the game could be best. Usually with minor injuries people try to work through them, but it would be best if there is any pain even a small amount to get it checked out at a local medical facility before you resume your normal game play.
When you have visited a medical facility and received treatment along with instructions on how to care for the injury, be sure to follow them to the letter. Not doing so can aggravate the existing injury or even worsen it. While it is tempting to be the hero to your team and play through your injury to try to win a game, sometimes it is in the best interests of the team to do what’s best for you and not be out on the court performing at a lower quality of play than normal.
To try to avoid injuries and do all that you can to ensure you minimize your chance of injury, proper stretching before the game is absolutely essential. A lot of players like to stretch periodically throughout the game to ensure that their muscles remain warmed up throughout the game. Preventative measures like stretching and proper exercise are absolutely crucial to avoiding unnecessary injuries.
The days of player’s acting big, strong, and macho have started to wane as players are becoming increasingly aware of injuries and the long term affects they can have on the body if not properly cared for. They can more than just affect your game; they can affect your life.
Photo credit: Zach Klein