Recently I was chatting with a high school rugby player about how her season is going and how her injuries are effecting her play. She currently has now played every forward position except for hooker due to the injuries of her team mates. A few things came to mind.
1) How come she has to play through injuries while others do not? Now some of the girls have season ending injuries they are not included in this question. Is it that those who are not playing are listening to their bodies better or are they being to cautious? (Yes I said it)
2) I know this athlete knows better, but she is dealing with injuries she never has before. Is that what is causing her to put her health in jeopardy, the lack of understanding what the consequences of the injury?
3) What are the injury policies at her school? Does the coach have the ability to say no you can't play, or request notes from the others stating where they are in their rehab?
Conclusions, more education of athletes, coaches and parents are needed in regards to injury prevention and proper management. Making athletic therapists available to as many athletes as possible, if not ATs having someone trained in injury management with each team to help guide through these times. Finally, no matter how much we educate athletes, coaches and parents sometimes the message won't change things. Athletes will hide injuries, play injured and not look at their long term health. Coaches will still be overwhelmed when dealing with injuries, will put winning over player safety and play athletes who are hurt.
Getting the message out their about sport safety is so important but we as the community need to understand that not everyone will get the message or want to. But we need to be happy that we can effect the lives of those who do.