Applying Common Sense When Playing Sport
Applying common sense to all of your sporting activities is crucial to prevent unnecessary injuries to both yourself and your opponents so that the activity is enjoyable and that the sport is played safely.
One of the major reasons why many people new to sport give up all too quickly is due to injury. There is nothing more deflating given that money has been spent on shoes and kit. Not only that it takes a commendable amount of willpower to realise that it is time to start exercising and do something positive about it. So to take the first steps towards a fitter lifestyle only to end up at the GP’s or the local casualty department is very frustrating. It may be that the injury is merely a strain that will only hold you back for a week or so. But for problems that require a longer recovery time, it may be that by the time you are back on your feet, the will to get moving is no longer there.
The underlying problem in such cases, and it applies to a wide range of sporting activities, is that people try to do too much, too soon. There is nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but it must be tempered by a good deal of common sense. Take the example of running. The novice is likely to be taking up the sport because they are either overweight or generally unfit. Their body has been used to taking it easy. So to suddenly begin asking muscles and tendons to perform strenuous exercise is asking for trouble.
Chosen GoalThe body has to be eased back into shape, not given a short sharp shock. So resist the temptation to go too fast, too quickly and get yourself checked out by your doctor. If he or she gives the all clear, draw up a sensible exercise programme that provides for slow but steady progress towards your chosen goal. That could be a fitter, slimmer you; or you may be aiming to develop your body to a level where you can compete with others in your chosen sport. The bottom line is that you must give your body time to answer the questions you are going to be asking of it.
Heat of the MomentAnother area where common sense plays a vital role is ensuring you don’t overstep the mark in terms of competitiveness. This can mean too much aggression when playing sports such as hockey or football, or during a race meeting in, for example, athletics or road cycling. Always remember that you not only have a responsibility for yourself but for others, too. Lose your discipline and the consequences could be an injury to one or more people. Even if the result of a clash in the heat of the moment is simply a few bruised egos, this lack of discipline may have been detrimental to your own performance or had a knock-on effect by damaging the performance of your team-mates. You may also find yourself excluding from participating for a period of time. And being left on the sidelines, as a result of excessive aggression can be almost as painful as suffering an injury: either way you are prevented from getting involved in the action.
So whichever sport you dedicate your leisure time to, remember that training your mind is as important as training your body. When they are both functioning at the peak of their powers, you truly have yourself a winning team which will allow you to play sport safely.