All types of sports present various risks to players. Whether they are involved in a practice game or in an actual one, there is always that risk that they will hurt themselves accidentally.
If you’re playing netball, it is important that you avoid injuries all the time. If you want to learn how to play netball without getting injured or hurt, follow the tips below:
Don’t forget to warm up, stretch, and cool down. Sufficient warm-up and cool-down are really important for avoiding injuries. The right type of warm-up consists of active exercises such as running and ball passing to increase the heart rate and get your muscles warm. It is also worthwhile to include some static stretching The cool-down session helps muscle and soft tissue recover and reduces the chance of muscles getting gradually tighter over the course of the season.
Make sure you wear the right gears and equipment. For netballers, this basically means wearing the right footwear and ankle guards/taping. Supportive well-fitting footwear is crucial for the wellbeing of your whole body, specifically your feet, knees, hips, and back. Consider investing in ankle guards or ankle taping since ankle injuries make up almost 60% of all netball injuries. When buying these, make sure that the brace is an appropriate one and that taping has been done correctly.
Prepare for the season sufficiently. In netball, injuries commonly occur as an athlete starts to fatigue and their level of skill starts to drop, or if they take their body to a level that it has not been for an extended period of time. As such, make sure that you have adequate fitness, strength, flexibility and skill before you start your netball season. If you have not prepared sufficiently or you are a little underdone, make sure you work your way into the season. Play with less intensity or play only part games to start the season, and gradually increase over the following weeks as you do more training and your fitness and skill increases. If you sustained an injury in the last season, be completely sure that you have thoroughly rehabilitated and recovered from that injury.
Consider the environmental conditions. Lastly, if you like playing outdoors and under the sun, be wary of too much sun exposure. Prioritise fluid replacement since fluid loss is gradual and can go easily unnoticed. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues so regular fluid intake (water or electrolyte drink) should be practised.
About the Author:
Jordan Clarke is a netball coach. He recommends reading a good article on learning how to play netball on Melbourne Social Netball’s site.