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Resistance Training for Better Performance

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Resistance bands, therabands, kinetic bands – these versatile stretchy bands come in a variety of shapes, strengths, sizes and are called different names – but regardless of what you know them as, they can be an excellent supplement to strength and flexibility, which can help prevent injury, for any sport.

Resistance bands are inexpensive, portable, and the number of exercises you can use them for is limited only by your coaching imagination (and resistance training is safe for young athletes, too)!  Use lighter bands for younger athletes and the heavier bands for older, more experienced athletes. Educate athletes on the correct technique for each exercise and monitor them during exercise so you can make corrections to posture and form during the exercises.

Here are some great resources for resistance band training and conditioning ideas – some general and some sport-specific:

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Is it a Sprain or a Break?

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Is it a sprain or a break

If you have an athlete, there is going to come a time where they get injured. Ankle injuries are VERY common and can happen when you least expect it. So how do you know if it is a sprain or a break?

That photo is of my daughter’s ankle a few weeks ago. She had just finished cheer season and was returning to the dance studio. She did three classes and in the final 15 minutes of her last class of the night she did a leap – like the ones she has been doing since she was little – and for some strange reason she just landed wrong and ended up in a heap on the floor.

Her ankle swelled IMMEDIATELY (this is a clue).

I have been around kids and sports long enough to know that if an injury swells up immediately, you do not play the wait and see game. You go directly to the Emergency Room. No questions asked. GO.

When we got to the ER they immediately did x-rays and the x-ray did not reveal a break of any kind, so they diagnosed it as a sprain, gave her an air cast and sent her home.

I also know that the ER does not always get things right and that their job is to care for the critically injured/sick and as far as they were concerned this is not critical.

The next day I called the Pediatric Sports Medicine Orthopedic group that we have used in the past and they definitely wanted to see her.  They took a look at the same x-rays, spent some time talking with her, examining the injured area and they came back with a different diagnosis. Yes, there was a hairline fracture and significant soft tissue damage and she was best treated by putting her leg in a cast for three weeks.

In the end, there is no way you as a parent or a coach can diagnose a sprain versus a break yourself. Yes, there are some indicators – such as swelling, ability or inability to move the affected area, pain levels – but when in doubt, get it checked out. It could be the difference in your child returning to play in a few weeks versus dealing with months of recurring injuries, pain and discomfort.

Pink cast

My daughter is sporting a nice pink cast for the next few weeks, but I am confident that once it is removed, she will be healed and ready to get right back to cheering for basketball and for dance.


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Make your own shapeable ice bag for injuries With three athletes in the house, it seems like one of them is always looking for an ice bag to help with an ache or pain. I have long used a bag of frozen vegetables as ice bags because the flexible ice packs you buy at the store can run between $8-12 depending on where you buy them. However, I just learned that you can make your own reusable ice packs for about $1.25 – and with a little bit of food coloring, each kid can have their own color coded ice pack (so I know who to nag when it doesn’t get returned to the freezer – LOL).

Basically, you need zip closure plastic bags (in either the quart size or the gallon size), rubbing alcohol, water and food coloring. There is also a version you can make with dish soap. The alcohol serves two purposes – it helps keep the water even colder and prevents it from freezing all the way so you get a flexible shape. The higher the alcohol content the “slushier” the ice pack will be.

To make your own flexible ice pack:

Mix 1 part alcohol with 3 parts water in the ziploc bag size of your choice, add food coloring, insert in second bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze – courtesy of OneGoodThing by Jillee


Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol with a 9 oz bottle of dish soap in the ziploc bag size of your choice, add food coloring, insert in second bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze – courtesy of the Krazy Koupon Lady

Keep in the the freezer for after practice or game injury management. You can also use them in your cooler to keep food cold on gameday.

** Be sure to remind kids NOT to drink these (EEEWWW YUCK) and always put a barrier between your skin and the ice pack like a thin towel.

Image Source: Real Simple

Categories : Injuries
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