Avoiding The Bench

Breanna Mitchell, Staff Writer

Creekview High School’s dancers, cheerleaders and sports athletes dedicate much of their high school careers to sports and activities that demand huge amounts of physical exertion and mental discipline. Pushing their bodies to the absolute limit makes injuries an inevitable part of every athlete’s life.

Learning how to prevent future injuries and properly heal ones that have already developed is a vital skill for every student athlete if they want to stay on the field, court, track, or stage.

The common phrase “prevention is better than cure,” is a universal motto that many athletes live by in order to avoid taking time off from doing what they love.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways for athletes to keep their hard working bodies happy and healthy.

  • Preparation is Key
    Creekview’s athletic trainer, Robert Sundquist, suggests that student athletes get back in shape before their season even starts. Outside of their respective activities, student athletes should also take part in weight training, and cross-training disciplines such as Pilates, Gyrotonics and yoga.
  • Hydrating Your Body
    The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes begin drinking water four hours before working out, and then continue to hydrate throughout and after. Athletes who sweat a lot can consider sport drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade that are higher in sodium.
  • Stretched To The Limit
    Although it is sometimes overlooked, stretching should be done by all athletes to increase range of motion, increase blood flow, decrease the chance of injury and build muscle by increasing the speed at which muscle fibers are synthesized. Stretches should be done both before and after working out, and each one should be held for 30 seconds to 1 minute in order to be effective.


No matter how much of their energy student athletes commit to injury prevention, injuries are sometimes unavoidable. These unlucky athletes shouldn’t kiss their dreams of gold medals and blue ribbons goodbye just yet; there are tons of tools to get them back in the game in no time.

  • Stay Positive
    It’s truly incredible how much power the mind can have over the body’s healing. After allowing themselves a brief pity party and cry session, athletes need to focus on developing a positive mindset. It is important for athletes to visualize their recovery and set goals for how they will perform once back to peak health.
  • Physical Therapy
    Doctors often suggest that their patients work with physical therapists when trying to recover from injuries. Physical therapy prevents the deterioration of strength, flexibility, and endurance while athletes take time off to let their bodies heal. Physical therapists also try to determine what weaknesses in the body may have brought on the initial injury so that they can focus on strengthening that specific area.
  • Cryotherapy
    Olympians and other professional athletes have recently taken advantage of the modern improvements made to the tried and true method of cold therapy, also known as Cryotherapy. Whole Body Cryotherapy –where patients stand for two to four minutes in a chamber filled with extremely cold air–has become a modern replacement for less effective ice packs and ice baths.


Athletes need to remember that their bodies are their livelihoods and should always be respected and taken care of the same way musicians care for their instruments.
Remember, your body is your instrument; keep it tuned, polished and ready to perform its best.

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