If you are coaching a basketball team, you know that one of your main duties is to help your players stay safe and healthy when they are on the court. Learning how to prevent injury in your players is important and you may be surprised to learn how incredibly easy it is to do so. By taking the time to first learn about which injuries are most common in basketball players, you will quickly begin to see how you can keep your players from suffering those same injuries.

Unfortunately, a severe basketball injury is something that can sideline a player’s career temporarily or, in the worst case scenario, permanently. There have been many players who suddenly find that their future plans have changed after they were hurt on the basketball court.

Basketball injuries generally fall into two categories. They are external injuries which are injuries that are a result of external factors. One of the main ways that a player can suffer an external injury is by colliding with another player during the game. Unfortunately, all the training in the world may not be able to prevent these kinds of injuries but the right protective gear may.

Some players choose to wear knee or elbow pads to protect them in the case of a fall or a collision with another player. Some also opt to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from damage or loss. The right protective gear should be able to help your players stay safe in case they happen to run into another player in the middle of the court. Keep in mind that many players do not like to wear some types of protective gear since they may feel that it minimizes their ability to react to the action around them and feel that it might restrict their movements too much.

Internal injuries also are quite common in basketball, and there are two main ways that you as a coach can help minimize these. The first cause of internal injury is improper warm-ups. Stiff, cold muscles may not move or respond as easily to sudden changes in direction. You may end up with players who tear their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), an injury which can keep them off the court for months if not permanently. Other common internal injuries can include sprains and strains, broken ankles and even dislocated fingers and other joints.

Teaching your players the right way to warm up and watching them to ensure they do so is the best way to prevent injuries. As well, going through drills and paying attention to your players’ form can help them learn the right way to move. Using drills to show them how to pivot and change direction safely and quickly can help avoid some of the more common athletic injuries suffered by basketball players.

There will be times when injuries are unavoidable and then it is your job to make sure that any players who have been hurt get the proper medical aid and attention. Then, it is important to give them time to ease back into play so that they do not overtax their muscles and joints is critical to getting them back up to speed and back in the game.

[info_box]Picture credit: Raymond BrownCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]