Wrestlers should not just think about how they can win but also how safe they can be during a match. Most first-time wrestlers want to see if they are quicker and stronger than their opponent, but they don't think about the injuries they may sustain. Bloody noses, strains, sprains, scrapes and bruises are common while wrestling, but prepatellar bursitis, patella dislocation, shoulder dislocation, ligament injuries and shoulder separation are serious injuries. Wrestlers could also suffer friction burns, deformed and swollen ears, concussions and skin infections such as impetigo and ringworm. How can a wrestler minimise these injury risks while wrestling? Read on!
Get the Right Gear
As a beginner, you should have headgear, also known as 'ear guards', to minimise head and ear injuries. Headgears have fitted padded shells and secure straps to keep the head and ears safe on the mat. Wear padded kneepads on both knees to reduce the risk of knee injuries. If your knee hits the mat several times, it could swell and probably get injured. To prevent severe mat burns, use a shooting sleeve–another kneepad type–to enhance knee sliding across the mat. If you have braces, use a mouthguard to protect your tongue, cheeks, lips and teeth. Choose flexible and light wrestling shoes to enhance mat traction and provide ankle support while wrestling.
If you want to increase your raw strength when wrestling and enhance safety, be alert and use the right defensive techniques. If you maintain the right moves and holds, you could win the match without allowing your opponent to hurt you. If a wrestler uses moves and holds that cause injuries to their opponent, they could be disqualified. Avoid moves, holds or positions that could overstress your knees, elbows and shoulders.
Even if the referee helps competitors avoid dangerous positions, you should identify risky moves and positions and avoid them. A wrestler should get an injury timeout when they feel pain or get a cramp to help assess and treat the injury. If the pain persists, the wrestler should withdraw from the sporting activity. Wrestling through pain could make you lose more matches in the future.
Don't Ignore the Small Things
If a skin rash develops on your body while competing or practising in a match, you should inform your coach about it. You could also visit your doctor to check the rash and treat it. Don't participate in another wrestling match before the rash heals completely. Take the recommended drinks before, during and after the match to hydrate your body. Avoid chewing gum or other chewable substances while wrestling to avoid mouth injuries. Go for a sports physical exam for a sports safety review to affirm you are physically fit for the match.
Reach out to wrestling professionals to learn more today.