Sports are very dear to us. For most people, it has become part of their culture. Many athletes consider this as their psychological release. It could be your fellowship or your community, which are an important part of your self-identity and how you fit in with society. Sports gives you the chance to travel to different places and reach your goals. Unfortunately, this global pandemic has created a negative impact on a lot of things, including sports. Here, we are going to discuss the impact of this pandemic on athletes of all levels with regard to their training and injuries.
What Are the Safety Precautions for Athletes?
The guidelines that are issued by CDC are very clear and outlined properly. Whether you are an athlete or a parent of an athlete, you are encouraged to read these CDC sports guidelines. Below are some of the important highlights of these safety measures.
Obviously, at this time, you don’t want to be at the highest risk. If you minimize your social contact when playing sports, then naturally, the risk of transmission and exposure also decreases. You can obtain the lowest risk by training and practicing at home where you are always isolated. However, even if you are alone at home, it does not mean that you cannot enhance your skills. The best thing to do is to look for a space where you can do your bodyweight workouts, such as sit-ups, push-ups, planks, etc. You could also perform some drills.
Medium risk is the sweet spot between the highest and lowest risk. The CDC has also issued guidelines when it comes to participating in sports. By maintaining social distancing in a large space outside, the team could have a lower risk for transmission. Most importantly, masks should be worn at all times during the activity. As much as possible, there should be at least six feet of distance between athletes.
However, it is important to take note that when performing strenuous activities such as jumping, running, dunking, etc., the risk for transmission could increase. Hence, as per the guidelines of the CDC, they have decided to increase the required distance between athletes. So, in situations where there are strenuous activities, there should be a distance of ten feet between athletes, instead of six feet.
The ten feet social distance is also a must for situations where there is chanting, cheering, or any kind of raising of voices. Cheering, shouting, or even talking in loud voices can increase the number of droplets going into the air. Unfortunately, it is possible that these droplets may contain COVID-19. It will remain in the air for about three hours. This is very dangerous if someone could breathe them in. It is a fact that COVID-19 is commonly transmitted through droplets. Therefore, staying far away from others and wearing masks always can greatly help in preventing the spread of the virus.
When it comes to sports participation, the highest risk can be present when you are playing normally in a world without COVID-19. So, what are these situations? There is a high risk when you travel to other cities or countries to play with other teams. You will be cramming your way into the bus, practicing with your teammates, or sharing equipment and locker room with others. These circumstances have the highest risk of transmission for COVID-19 or any type of virus.
What If the Athlete Is Contracted with COVID-19?
It is very alarming when athletes are contracted with COVID-19. It is crucial to remind yourself that anyone, even younger athletes, might be at a higher risk of experiencing a bad outcome. For instance, these younger athletes could be suffering from asthma, diabetes, heart and lung conditions, etc.
If the athlete has contracted COVID-19, then based on the guidelines, the athletes should go to their primary care doctor so that they can be evaluated. They will likely be referred to a pulmonologist or a cardiologist. Eventually, COVID-19 could have long-term effects on the lungs and heart. That is why, before the COVID-19 patient returns to their strenuous activities, it is vital that they have their lungs and heart checked.
Can Athletes Get Back to Their New Normal?
Throughout the course of the pandemic, people are no longer living their normal lives. On the part of the athletes, they have off-seasons, training sessions, and this cycle just goes on and on. You are used to using your body consistently regularly.
However, with this pandemic, athletes are no longer playing like they used to. As a result, they become deconditioned. According to sports specialists, injuries like ACL tears could likely occur on athletes or anyone who is not properly conditioned. In case, if your gluteus, core, or quadricep strength is not where they are supposed to be, then you are at risk of having an ACL injury.
Because of the pandemic, there is an increase in the risk of deconditioned-related injuries since training sessions and team practices have been stopped. Once you have stopped doing your regular sports activity, then it could only take days to lose your gains. Based on some studies, if you are not consistently training, then you are losing 10% of your muscle gains and endurance each week and every week thereafter.
This is the reason why it is essential that athletes find ways to perform their training and drills in a safe, socially distanced manner. For most athletes, this means that they will be performing their drills at home. If you are a football player, then try practicing your hand dexterity drills and footwork. If you are a soccer or a basketball player, then you could focus more on cone work drills and dribbling. If you are a dancer, then you can do barre work, just be sure to practice social distancing. Regardless of whether you are an athlete or not, you could work on your core strength. While you are at home, try to do some planks, crunches, sit-ups, and wall sits.
Staying active in a safe manner is imperative to your bodily maintenance. While you find yourself in a situation where you can’t play sports in the way that you used to, you should be working on your strength and conditioning. This can help in reducing injuries.
Single Sports Players Vs Multi Sports Players – What is the Rate of Injury?
When it comes to youth sports, there is a growing concern about over-specialization. This pertains to kids who are playing the same sports for the entire year. The rate of overuse injuries has increased since the muscle groups that they are using are the same, instead of cross-training.
One of the main concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic is over-specialization. This is especially important since athletes will be training on their own for a particular sport. Additionally, since there are no trainers or coaches that could supervise them and watch their form, they may end up focusing too much on a specific type of exercise instead of mixing it up. It is crucial that athletes concentrate on general skills that are applicable to all sports, including dexterity, core strength, and footwork.
Are You Safe If You Wear a Mask While Playing a Sport?
Absolutely! There is no data that shows that wearing a mask can cause harm when you are playing any sport. However, if an athlete is having some difficulty in wearing a mask while playing, then they should wait until it is safe to compete without any masks. Wearing masks can be very beneficial, which is why you should keep on doing it.
Is There an Increase in Injuries for Those Who Are Not Athletes?
Apparently, there is an increase in DIY-type injuries for those who are attempting to put their furniture and other fixtures together. As a result, it caused harm to their biceps tendon. It is greatly encouraged that people should be more careful and be safe regardless of what activities they are doing, whether you are working in your garden or training for a sport.
What Are the Injuries That Athletes Could Suffer from When Training By Themselves?
This will greatly depend on the type of sport that they are training for. If you are training by yourself without the supervision of a coach or a trainer to ensure that your form is correct, this could result in overuse injuries. If you are a pitcher who is not following the right mechanics or throwing on your own, then you will likely see an increase in shoulder or elbow injuries over the course of time.
As mentioned earlier, deconditioning could result in an increase in ACL injuries. If you are not fit as you are pre-COVID-19, then your body may not be capable of absorbing the impact that the sports require. As a result, your knees might land in awkward positions. A lot of this has to do with your ability to control your muscles above your knee such as your core, quadriceps, and gluteus. These muscle groups will not be conditioned with everyday living.
If you need a coach or a trainer to train you or give you some advice, then you can get in touch with Team Enduro. You can call us at 858-336-7410. For your questions and inquiries, you can send us an email at [email protected]