The definition of a non-contact sport is one where players are separated physically so that it is impossible to physically contact one another during the game. Such sports would include tennis, bowling, golf, and volleyball. Does this mean there is less chance of getting injured by participating in such a sport?
Well, according to medical experts treat sports related injuries, not necessarily. It is common for tennis players to experience shoulder, wrist, knee and elbow injuries. Golfers usually experience injuries to the same areas. It seems that no matter what sport my son my get involved with, he will probably receive an injury related to his activity.
Injuries are pretty much accepted by soccer players and boxers. However, if my son packs up a golf bag, I certainly would not expect to end my day at the local emergency room. I do hope, though, that he would at least be spared what seems to me to be the worst sports injury, the concussion. Neurological experts conducted a study in 2012 which concluded that college athletes who had received concussions in a contact sport exhibited much worse performance levels on neurological evaluations that those who were involved in non-contact sports.
Repeated head injuries in sports such as football can result in long-term impairment. This is something I want my son to seriously consider when he has the itch to become the “jock” that all the babes are after. I tell him he may not seem so hot when he’s forty and can’t remember his name. As we engaged in our discussion on non-contact sports, here are some of the non-contact sports he concluded were definitely “out” if he wanted to finish high school being able to hold his head high and proud:
- Table Tennis
- Ice Skating
In the end, he chose tennis. I think it’s a great choice. However, being a great tennis player is not just about being able to ace the serve. It’s also about being educated on how to keep your body fit and protected from injury.
The five most common tennis related injuries are sprained ankle, shoulder pain, strained calf muscles, spinal stress fractures, and the proverbial “tennis elbow”. One of the best preventatives to ankle injury is proper footwear. One of the best preventatives for strained calf muscles is proper warm up. Shoulder pain and tennis elbow are a little harder to prevent. They are usually the result of overuse of the muscles and joints. The pain usually doesn’t show up until afterward. It is then important to understand your body’s limitations and to not push yourself too far. If you discover you have gone too far, it is important to rest the affected muscles.
So, bottom line to parents of athletes, having your child participate in a non-contact sport does not guarantee you will not need to be stocked up on ice packs and pain relievers. It does, however, afford you the peace of mind that, by avoiding repeated concussions, they should be able to remember where they parked their car when they visit you at the old folk’s home.