In sports preparation is always the key to success. This preparation can involve any number of things from practicing, to weight training, to eating right, or even simply getting enough sleep.
But in tonight's athletic advantage Alex Zannes looks at a part of preparation that has nothing to do with what you put in to your body or put you body through, but instead, what you put on it. In other words, the equipment that can keep you safe.
This time of year high school students are hitting the field or the court every day of the week. Putting their bodies though the rigor of athletic competition, but according to United Regional Athletic Trainer Brian Deathridge, just as important as their preparation for a game or match, is the gear that can help keep them safe.
"Helmets can prevent lots of concussions in baseball and soccer. In soccer there's a lot more players starting to wear helmets. Knee pads in soccer can prevent fractures and bruises in the shins, and batting gloves in baseball help prevent bone bruises and things like that in the hands."
Helmets are as common place in baseball and softball as shin guards are on the soccer pitch. But Deathridge says another item that's helping to reduce concussions in soccer players is a type of headgear that can soften the blow of a soccer ball to the forehead.
"Girls soccer is the number one concussion sport for female athletes in college. There are a lot more athletes that are starting to go to the helmets to prevent concussions."
As for what brand of equipment you should purchase, trainers say make sure to check that it's a brand approved by you're child's school or athletic organization. Also, make sure to check the equipment before going out on the field. Trainers say a cracked baseball or softball helmet, is just as bad as no helmet at all.
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