As a gymnast, you have to be aware that gymnastics is one of the
most demanding and strenuous sports around. Right along with its tough and
exacting nature come the injuries. Do you know that gymnasts incur injuries as
often as football players do?
While injuries are part and parcel of gymnastics and it will be
difficult to steer clear of them completely, there are some ways that you can
avert the worse of them. These safety measures take the form of body and mental
alertness, adequate muscle strength and resiliency, and above all, clear
communication with between the gymnast, coach and child.
Most important of all, it is important that the gymnast knows what
he is doing. The gymnast shouldn’t attempt to try moves that he hasn’t
practiced yet, just because they look awesome, or because some of the other
gymnasts can do it, or even just to impress his coach. Speak to the coach about
your apprehensions and make sure he shares your concern. Make sure the coach is
cognizant of the risks to the athletes and has implemented safety procedures to
minimize them. Find out if he knows what to do in case an emergency happens and
check to see if there is a first-aid kit in the gym. It’s also important that
there’s a phone to call for medical help.
The coach is responsible for teaching the gymnast the basics of a
certain skill, and to understand how to execute it properly. The gymnast should
also be taught how to move his body safely to prevent injury in case a trick
doesn’t turn out the way it should. See if this is explained and demonstrated
to him during practice.
One other thing a gymnast should know is how to be attuned to his
body throughout all its motion during the execution of a move. If for instance,
he’s in the middle of a twist, she should be able to sense if he’s twisted far
enough or too much. If he’s performing a somersault, he should know how far
he’s rotated so he’ll be able to land correctly. Being aware of her body
orientation at all times is crucial to keeping her safe from potential
a trick are
are still in
sprained or twisted ankles,
calf to the
foot are not
Finally, it is important to keep the lines of communication and
awareness open between the gymnast, his teammates and coach. Make sure it is
apparent to everyone what it is exactly the gymnast is being asked to do. If
the coach instructs one thing and your gymnast understands him differently, he
may end up executing something different and his coach may not be able to spot
him properly. The gymnast should also be alert to his surroundings and what his
other teammates are doing. Being unaware of what is happening around him can
cause collisions, which are also one of the causes of injury.
The following are some safety measures that you should be aware of:
1.) Make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire. Flapping clothes,
dangling jewelry and body piercings can get caught in equipment, scratch or cut
the gymnast, as well as other people.
2.) Be serious during practice. Be aware that horsing around and other rough
and tumble games can cause injuries, especially in areas where people are
practicing and it is not safe to goof off.
3.) Youngsters with long hair should tie it back or secure it under a bandanna
so it does not get in the eyes or get caught in the equipment.
4.) Gum is a no-no during practice or competition; it can easily become stuck
in a gymnasts throat or windpipe during performances.
5.) You should learn to focus and concentrate your attention on what your are
doing. If you becomes distracted or distracts somebody else, this can spell
disaster. Do not bring a MP3 or IPod during practice, dont tell jokes while
another athlete is doing a routine, it might end up badly and injure someone.
These rules are important not only in gymnastics, but also for other
sports and in daily life as well. Try to ingrain these rules in you so that you
will be able to always keep safe, including everyone else around you..
Determining the Magnitude of Injuries
You’ll need to ascertain what kind of injury you have, whether it be
minor or needs immediate medical attention. What are the things you need to
1.) Find the source of the pain – is it concentrated on one area of
the body only, or on both sides? If the pain is on both sides of the body, then
it is more likely just muscle tenderness. If you complain that both of yout
thighs hurt, then your probably sore from practicing take-offs and landings.
2.) Muscle or joint pain – Ask yourself whether the pain is muscular or
joint-related. If the whole muscle hurts, it’s probably just sore. If its
pinpointing at a certain location, like for instance the bottom of the biceps
where it joins the elbow, a tendon may be injured. If the pain is in a joint,
just on one side of the body, go to a doctor immediately.
3.) Type of pain – is it sharp and excruciating, or is it a dull throbbing? The
latter can be just soreness, the former is a cause to seek medical attention.
4.) Appearance of the injury – look for bruising, swelling or bleeding. Clean
any small cuts with antiseptic and apply an antibiotic ointment. Put on
bandages as is necessary.
Management of General Injuries
If you have a sharp pain on one side of the body that persists for
more than 10 minutes, go to the doctor immediately.
If it is joint pain that lasts for more than a day, even if it
occurs on both sides of the body, the best bet is to take your child to see an
If you are bleeding from huge cuts and you are enable to stop the
bleeding, summon an ambulance or ask someone to take you to the emergency room
as soon as you can.
Apply an icepack if there is any swelling, and keep it on the
injured area for no longer than 20 minutes. Any longer than that and the body
will think that it has frostbite. Instead of constricting blood vessels and
keeping it away from the injury site, it brings the blood back and causes the
injury it to swell even more.