How you can help prevent injuries as students get back into fall sports

Aug 18, 2022, 5:45 PM | Updated: 8:16 pm

PROVO, Utah – As kids returned to classrooms this week, they are also returning to fall sports – one Intermountain doctor shares tips on how to keep your kids healthy as they return to the field.

Dr. Anthony Beutler, medical director for sports medicine at Intermountain Healthcare said making sure your kids ease into playing sports again is crucial.

“It’s important to listen to your body very closely, if not you could cause an injury,” he said.

Jenna Shepard, Utah Valley University’s center defender, said she wishes she would have listened to her body more when she was injured.

“If I just would’ve listened to my body and let it heal, let it heal properly in the right moment, then I probably would have avoided, the six months of rehab that followed that because I chose not to, to listen and I chose to just continue to push through it,” she said.

Shepard has played soccer since she was five years old – she said its more than a game to her it’s a passion.

Through the years of playing, she has learned a few things that help her play better – part of it is eating right.

“I’ve just noticed that the more I eat, the more energy I have and just the better I play. Because I’m so energetic and I have energy to make runs, I have energy to move off the ball, I have energy to defend,” Shepard said.

Dr. Beutler echoes that sentiment, “Every meal that you eat and try to make that plate colorful, half of the plate should be consumed by fruits and vegetables.”

Eating right is crucial, but Dr. Beutler said so is proper hydration.

“We know that a 1% decrease in our hydration, a 1% dehydration can actually decrease our performance,” he said, “That is going to make you not as fast, not as agile, not perform as well at high risk for injury because you’re in the way and your body’s not doing what it’s supposed to do.”

When you get back out on the field, Dr. Beutler said his biggest advice is contacting a sports physician if you start to notice something:

“Sometimes we’re bad at listening to our body, something we just don’t know. We don’t have that experience. So having a plan and following that plan carefully can be effective,” he said.

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How you can help prevent injuries as students get back into fall sports