Sports injuries effects on student athletes

Riann Masi, Writer

Tears, sprains and broken bones are all potential injuries athletes can obtain while competing or practicing their sport. Sports injuries can occur because of overuse, lack of training and improper form of technique. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly two million high school athlete injuries occur per year with more than two hundred thousand doctors visits per year. In low contact sports that involve long training sessions or have the same movements repeated numerous times, over usage injuries are more common. These low contact sports include cross country and volleyball.

“I have a stress fracture in my left shin,” senior Josh Maier said. “The injury occured over a long period of time where there was a lot of pressure and stress on my leg. The injury started out as a small shin splint that continued to get worse and worse over time until I collapsed in pain after one of my Cross Country races.” 

About 55.5 percent of students in high school are student athletes with injuries happening frequently as reported by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. High school players can become injured because of over-aggressive playing and neglection to stretch.

“During the second half of my game, the goalie slide tackled me,” varsity soccer player senior Ben Chapple said. “Aiming for my shin, the goalie broke my tibia. I was rushed to the hospital to get surgery and was out of playing soccer for the remainder of my senior season. It happened very unexpectedly and I was out of school for nearly four weeks.” 

After being injured players are told to sit out, watch the game and cheer on their fellow teammates. For some athletes that means watching the game they love and seeing moments that could have been different if they were participating. 

“Because of my injury, I missed out on the last four races of the season,” Maier said. “Regionals was also a race I missed. I was so excited this year for regionals because I could have possibly advanced to the states race, but due to my injury I had to sit out and watch my teammates run. After two years of middle school cross country and four years of high school running, I finished my senior season injured and not able to accomplish running at the regional or state meet.” 

The average time for healing from an overuse injury is between six to eight weeks, while in Chapple’s case he will be recovering for a much longer period because of the extensivity of the injury. Trying to play while injured will only cause more damage and delay recovery. The timeline to return to a sport ultimately depends on a doctor’s or physiotherapist’s assessment.