Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 8.39.05 AMUAHS athletes should not put injuries on the backburner

Staff Editorial

As he takes a seat on the bench, searing pain shoots up the soccer player’s leg. Shrugging it off, he refrains from telling his coach and, after a few plays, walks back onto the field as if nothing happened.

After the game, the discomfort in his leg returns, this time even worse than before. He falls to the ground, unable to walk or even move his injured leg. The athlete is rushed to the hospital, where he is given his diagnosis: one torn ACL and a yearlong postponement until he can play soccer again.

Unfortunately, this type of situation is not uncommon among athletes at UAHS. Regardless of what sport is being played, UAHS athletes’ desire to excel in sports can often lead to the ignorance of injuries, a habit that is considerably dangerous to one’s health.

This is often due to pressures an athlete can experience from coaches, parents and even peers. The stress on an athlete to do his/her best and win the game or competition is often the main factor of an athlete choosing to shrug off an injury.

With sports injuries resulting in about 30,000 teenage hospitalizations each year, there is no question that this type of injury is an omnipresent threat to our generation. In some cases, there is nothing that can be done to prevent these injuries from occurring, but a problem arises when an athlete continues to play, even after experiencing the first signs of an injury.

We’re not saying that athletes should apply this rule to something small like a bruise or scrape, but if something feels wrong beyond that or a coach specifically tells you not to; do not push it.

This advice is especially important regarding injuries like concussions, where a lifelong effect is possible. Looking at the possible long-term results of a concussion, which include memory loss and depression, begs the question: is it all really worth that big win?

By “sucking it up” and continuing to play, an athlete may think they are being tough. But, in reality, this split-second decision could result in further injury and spending the rest of the season or more on the bench.

So, please, for the good of your own health, pay attention to your body and the signs it is giving you. Don’t let pressure from your peers, coaches or parents prevent you from continuing to play the sport you love.