10 Tips To Prevent Injury


Active Member
3 Jun 2011
In this article I will got through all the features on how to stay injury free in your sport but in particular soccer. You can be the best player in the world but if you are injured then you are of no use this is really important in team sports and increasingly common in all sports with players playing at a higher intensity more often. A good example of this is the training tactic employed by soccer coach Raymond Verhijien, he says that 1 short intense session a day is enough for any soccer player (many coaches employ 2 or more long fitness sessions in pre-season) He says that too many players are getting injured and has the stats to back it up, on the weekend of the 20-21 of November 2010 in Seria A there were 124 players inured, after 3 months Inter Milan had 37 injuries and 85% were recurrences from last year and more than 14 of the Dutch 23 man squad have been injured since the world cup.

Soccer is a high intensity sport and injuries are becoming more and more common in the game. With players playing more and more often at higher and higher intensity player's can easily become overtrained or to use a more common term "burned out". There is a lot of common injuries for soccer players in particular knee ligaments, groin, achilles tendons, delayed onset muscle soreness ("DOMS") and the big one hamstring injuries are all becoming increasingly common in the sport.

How To Prevent Injuries

1) Be in good physical shape for your sport, don't assume that your sport will get you in good shape and go in unprepared. Before going to a training or match players should be well hydrated and have eaten something as well as being well stretched and flexible in general for any activity. Aways try to allow 30 minutes a week just to stretch this will not only prevent injury but increase sprint speed

2) Just to emphasize my point you should always be properly hydrated and fed for a game. Being only 1-2 % dehydrated can affect physical performance. Also remember that water is better than of these isotonic drinks (lucozade sport, gatorade etc) they are full of sugar and should only be used if you have not eaten before a game also stay clear of any hypotonic or hypertonic drinks. Did you know when you are dehydrated,
  • Blood is thick and so harder to pump
  • Lactic Acid is not discreeted because of water conservation in the body
  • Body overheats due to lack of sweat because of water conservation

3) Rest is vital part of staying fit in any sport. Recently I went through a phase where all my sports overlapped (Soccer, Athletics and Gaelic Football) and I was training at least 5 times a week and went 2 weeks with a training every week, needless to say I couldn't train after about a week of it and missed more trainings than I was fit for. I can not emphasize enough how important this one is for every tough day you should have 1 rest day and 1 moderate intensity day (This goes for soccer not bodybuilding because you are working the same muscles in bodybuilding all the time.

4) Avoid trying to play if you have an injury. This is a really obvious one but if you try to play with an injury it will get worse. Think of it like this for the maybe half an hour to an hour you can play for you are risking missing weeks. If you feel pain give it a few minutes and if it has not stopped you need to come off. You should always listen to the signs your body gives off, remember "pain means stop"

5) The most important part of preventing any injury is to always warm up and warm down fully before and after a match/ training session. Warm ups should include lots of different exercises like jogging, heel flicks, knee raises, skips and side to side running. the closer to the game you get the more intense the warm up should get eventually including full short sprints. Another thing to remember is to stretch all major muscles in the body head to toe but don't stretch before you have done and other exercises as this most efficient with increased blood-flow to the area and stretching a cold muscle may cause damage. When doing a warm don after the game you should includes lot more stretches and the exercises should get less and less intense as it goes on.

Why do warm ups work?
  • Because the increase muscle temperature and a warm muscle contracts and relaxes quicker
  • Blood vessels dilate reducing blood flow resistance and stress on the heart.
  • The body produces more hormones involved in the production of energy making more carbs and fatty acids available.
  • Warm ups also increase your focus and mental ready-ness for an activity

6) Always wear protective gear for you sport, for soccer you should always wear shin pads if your cycling wear a helmet etc. Protective gear is not only helpful in regard to preventing injury but you will not be allowed to play if you do not have the correct gear.

7) If in the case you do sustain an injury always receive proper treatment and visit your doctor or physio. Use ice if there is swelling present and after 3 days start to alternate between heat and ice. Some professional athletes will take this to the extreme by using a super cooled chamber with extremely cold temperatures to speed up recovery time. Another extreme form of healing is when an athlete will sit in a room of 100% oxygen it has been shown to speed up injury recovery and many premier league clubs it. I have also found Arnica tablets very helpful, they are homeopathic tablets made by Weleda Weleda Arnica 30C

8) A high protein diet will aid recovery of cells and and will reduce the time spent on the sidelines

9) Recently we have seen some new and unusual cures for injury but nothing is quite as unusual as the horse placenta treatment used by a doctor in Belgrade. She is said to use the placenta of a horse as well as physiotherapy and psychology. Many Premier League players have used this treatment including Robin Van Persie, Yossi Benayoun, Albert Riera, Vincent Company, Nigel De Jong and Paulo Zabaleta.

10) The best tip I can give you to avoid injury is to use common sense and be vigilant. Check the environment before you use it (check pitches for stoned etc) I once broke my collar bone on a pitch after falling on a stone, that was a completely preventable injury and if someone had taken 5 minutes to scan the pitch they would have noticed it. It is small things that make all the difference with things like this and you can never be to careful