5 Ways to Be Safe When Playing Team Sports
When you go out on the field to play a game, safety is often the farthest thing from your mind. Who cares about safety? You are out there to have fun. Right? Hopefully not.
Safety is important for many reasons; even reasons separate and apart from the fact that it is no fun to be hurt. For example, safety violations can result in penalties, either individual or team. It can also result in an injury to someone else, and hopefully you do not want to have someone else’s injury on your conscience.
All of this should tell you something: if you want to play sports right, then you need to take safety rules and safeguards seriously.
5 Keys to Safe Team Sport Playing
The safety rules and tips are going to vary from team sport to team sport. However, there are certain types of safety considerations that can be found in any team sport. Here are just five of these groups.
- Communication is key.
One of the first things you should do in any sport is learn to communicate. This is how you will know what play is going on, where your teammates are on the field, and what you should be doing. However, communication is key for more than those reasons. It is also an important component of safety.
Communicating with your coaches and teammates help you avoid unsafe situations. For example, it can let you know where another teammate is so that you do not have any unnecessary collisions with them. In baseball or softball, it is how you know when to slide so that you make it to the base safely (in ball terms and in general terms). If you do not slide the right way and at the right time, after all, you can be thrown out and seriously injured.
Learning how to communicate properly can save you a world of hurt. Literally.
- Rest and rejuvenate.
When you are playing and having fun, the last thing you want to do is stop and sit on the bench. However, that could be exactly what you need.
When you are running around and playing hard, you get tired. Not only that, you need water. There are time outs and inning breaks and other short bursts of rest, but one of the best things you can do to avoid heat stroke and dehydration is take a break whenever you need to do so.
Now, if you are perfectly capable of playing the whole game without once going to the bench, then feel free to do so (if your coach lets you). However, if you feel tired or need to rehydrate, do not be afraid to stop and ask to be taken out for a short break.
Your safety should be your first thought, and besides, all your teammates are sitting on the bench hoping to get in for even a minute or two. If you really need a break anyway, you can rest easy knowing you are making someone’s day.
- Collide with caution.
If you are playing a contact sport, then you are going to make contact with someone. That’s just the nature of the game. However, just because contact is a must, does not mean there are no guidelines to how you can collide.
For example, the NFL has an official rulebook that includes guides to tackling. And most sports, even nontraditionally contact sports, have something similar in their rules.
When you start playing a team sport, you need to pay attention to how you should tackle both from a strategy and a safety point of view. This is the best way to ensure you and everyone around you avoids being hurt.
- Do not fight.
When you are out there playing aggressively and competitively, emotions can run high. People can get angry because of a bad call, something another player did or said, or many other reasons. Some players may even just be bad sports. So what should you do about this?
You cannot control other players, but you can control yourself. Do not let other players get to you. If someone makes you angry, do your best to avoid them whenever possible. All in all, learn to control your temper.
If you do sense a problem with another player, though, try to diffuse the situation. Do not antagonize them. If you can, stay out of their way or let someone else know what is happening.
Just whatever you do, try not to get in a fight.
- Put safety first.
One of the things you will learn if you go to a sports camp or take lessons is how to play safely. Whatever you do, do your best to follow these rules. It will help you in a myriad of ways. Keeping you and everyone around you as safe as possible is just one consideration.
That is why safety should always come first. Without it, you are not going to last long in the sport anyway. Playing tough is one thing, but playing dumb is quite another.
Fewer Injuries Equal More Playing Time
If you still need a reason to follow the safety rules and play smartly, think about this: the less time you spend hurt, the more time you will be well enough to get out on the field and play. And if that isn’t enough of a reason to follow the safety rules, I don’t know what is.