If you have a child who is involved with sports you may be balking at the cost of protective gear which can really vary from sport to sport. Basketball is a great sport in that the specific equipment you need is actually very minimal. When compared to a sport like hockey, the amount of protective gear you need is affordable and easy to find.
When you are deciding what protective equipment to get you need to think about what injuries are the most common in basketball. For players, injuries to the leg joints can occur quite frequently. These can include sprained ankles and torn ligaments in the knees and ankles. Therefore, these are the areas that you should think about protecting first. It is much easier to prevent a joint injury than it is to heal one that has just occurred and by preventing the injuries it means you are not spending time off the court recovering.
Falls during basketball are not as common as with other sports but often players will choose to wear knee and elbow pads. These can prevent serious injury if you do fall when you are moving around the court. Often, a fall will occur if you get off balance when you are trying to score and often you may be surrounded by a group of other players. This makes it easier to accidentally get injured by other players so it may not be a bad idea to protect your joints.
Many players make the mistake of thinking that high top running shoes will help support and protect the ankles. This is actually not the case. Ankle braces can be a good idea if you have already suffered an injury since it can stabilize the joint and prevent you from reinjuring it or slowing your recovery down. However, with any brace or support you need to keep in mind that you should wear it on the court but take it off after if you are well on the road to recovery. This is because leaving a brace on can weaken muscles. You should always follow the directions of your doctor or physiotherapist if you are trying to deal with a previously injured joint.
One thing that many people are choosing to wear is a mouth guard. These are custom fitted plastic guards which are held between the teeth. If you accidentally take an elbow in the mouth or fall and hit your face, the mouth guard will protect your teeth from being broken or damaged in any way. A mouth guard is not the most common piece of protective equipment but using them is growing steadily in popularity with people involved in different sports.
If you are careful to use the right protective gear it can really help to minimize the chances of being injured. It can also ensure that any injuries you do get are much less severe and that you will be able to recover from them faster and more easily than you might believe.
Picture credit: bradleypjohnson • Creative Commons Attribution