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With Spring Soccer Starting...How Do I Get Ready?

Brandt R Gibson, DPM
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Podiatrist, Neuropathy Doctor, Father of 11 and Founder of Mountain West Foot & Ankle Institute
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As the father of 11 children, including 7 soccer players, and as a soccer coach, I am constantly on the sideline of soccer games both in the spring and in the fall.  As such, I am constantly talking soccer with friends and family.  It is therefore very important in our household to prepare properly for soccer. 

Now in preparation for soccer I am not talking about exercises (although in higher level players like my daughter preparing for colegiate soccer this is an imperative), nor soccer skill training, but instead am talking about ensuring proper equipment and knowing what lower extremity injuries to worry about.  Soccer players that are properly prepared in these ways can reduce injury chances and have a more enjoyable soccer season.

Proper Soccer Boot:  The soccer cleat or soccer boot is a key piece of equpment for the soccer player.  Just buying any shoe you can find is not recommended even for the young recreation player.  In fact, there are specific discussion points that should be considered when purchasing a proper boot.  By selecting the proper boot, chances for soccer injuries can be reduced.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration: As with any sport, proper nutrition is imperative to reduce injuries and provide proper abilities to function fully.  Well balanced meals, especially high in fruits and vegetables, will provide better precursors for healing and repairing tissue after a game or hard workout.   Even in younger ages the food eaten and ensuring adequate fluids can help the soccer season be more enjoyable.

Understanding Common Soccer Injuries:  Soccer is one of the most common sports causing injuries in the lower extremity.  Especially common are injuries from person to person contact (being kicked, kicking the ball when someone else is, etc.) .  These types of injuries can lead to long-term problems if not treated appropriately.  Therefore, understanding common soccer injuries is an important aspect of preparation (especially for a parent).

As this preparation takes place in your home, our goal is to keep your soccer players on the field injury free.  Prepare appropriately and then get out on the field (either to cheer or play) and enjoy the beautiful sport of soccer.  I hope for many years of cheering for my soccer players (and lacrosse player for that matter).

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