Tips To Prevent Common Hockey Injuries
Hockey is one of the most popular sports in the country, and has a long history in Minnesota. We have tips to help you keep young players safe on the ice.
The statue of Herb Brooks looks out over Rice Park in downtown St. Paul, reminding Minnesotans of our state’s proud history as hockey champions. Because this sport involves high speeds and a lot of contact, it also has a reputation for causing injuries. We have tips to help your young player participate in hockey’s legacy without suffering the casualties of the sport.
Every year, medical professionals in the United States treat more than 63,000 hockey-related injuries. It’s worth noting that at the youth level, hockey is much safer than it is at the collegiate and professional levels. In fact, young hockey players also sustain fewer injuries than their classmates playing football, basketball, and soccer.
The most common hockey-related injuries are relatively minor strains, sprains, bruises, and cuts. More serious injuries are less common, and include concussions, broken teeth and bones, dislocations, and spine injuries. The risk of injury can always be lessened by following these tips for hockey safety:
- Before playing, young athletes must be competent skaters with solid basic skills. Hockey requires a high degree of coordination. Players pursue the puck, block, and score—all while balancing on knife-edged blades. Mastery of fundamental skating skills is a necessary foundation before players begin learning sport-specific skills like puck handling, game rules, power skating techniques, and basic plays.
- Hockey is a high-speed collision sport that requires a lot of protective equipment. Make sure your player is outfitted with properly fitting equipment to protect the head and body.
- Coaching is critical to injury prevention by teaching players about prohibited and potentially dangerous tactics. Young athletes are not allowed to body block, check from behind, or use their stick or helmet as a weapon.
Ice hockey is a dynamic sport that was designed for our northern climate. Many share Minnesota’s enthusiasm for this fast-paced sport. Hockey is one of the fastest-growing organized sports in the country. By following these safety guidelines, we can also make sure that hockey remains one of the safest sports for our children to play.
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