Hockey places many demands on the technical and physical skills of players. During the course of play, players accelerate, decelerate and change direction all whilst trying to hit, pass, stop/trap or dribble the ball. As a result, injuries can and do occur.
The causes and types of injuries
- Common causes of injuries are being struck by the ball or stick, contact with the playing surface and contact with other players.
- Injuries to the fingers/thumb, knee, ankle, thigh and head/face are the most common.
- Common types of injuries are bruising and muscle strains or tears.
- Back pain is also common.
- More serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussion and ligament ruptures, are less common
Factors increasing your injury risk
- Not wearing protective equipment.
- Poor physical conditioning.
- The amount and level of participation.
- Having had a back problem.
- Having had a sports injury in the previous 12 month • Poor rehabilitation.
Factors decreasing your injury risk
- Undertaking a sport-specific training program, preferably designed by a qualified exercise or sports professional.
- Having had experience playing hockey in the previous 12 months.
- Excellent stamina.
- Being physically active beyond hockey.
- Not drinking alcohol 48 hours before a game
Safety tips for hockey
- Good preparation is important
- Avoid playing with a pre-existing illness or injury. If in doubt, talk to your doctor.
- Always warm up, stretch and cool down, especially the lower back.
- Undertake a training program to develop skills and techniques before competition.
- Undergo a fitness program to develop endurance, strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.