By Kristina Boyko
Not hail, nor rain, nor heat, or even the fiercest and most intimidating competitor, can defeat an ambitious athlete; but they can be defeated by a sprained ankle.
Kyra DuBois (10) playing for Grandview’s sophomore volleyball team was incapable of playing her favorite sport because of a sprained ankle. Not only was she unable to play, but she was tormented by pain for days.
“I was going in for a block, and someone was under the net,” explained DuBois. She landed on the athlete’s foot, resulting in a sprained ankle.
“My teammates kind of crowded around me and my coach asked if I was okay, then he had someone grab Learned [the athletic trainer],” DuBois said. “I went to the trainer and we iced it for like 15 minutes. Then he [Learned] taped it and told me to go back out there and see if I could play on it,”.
DuBois admits that after she got hurt she went back on the court and tried her best to play, but was in too much pain to participate. Later during the week she was forced to sit out of practice to allow her body to heal.
“A lot more of us have been injured compared to last year," said DuBois.
Volleyball is not the only sport that has seen multiple injuries this season.
Zach Scott, another ambitious player who is on the boys varsity tennis team, admits to getting tendonitis from overuse of his wrist on the tennis court.
“In my freshman year I hurt my back while I was playing it [tennis], ” said Scott.
Scott had to face the news of being unable to play in the State Tournament due to the tendinitis. “I was undefeated in the season up until I got injured and afterwards we still had a couple major tournaments that we still had to go to, like State,” Scott said.
“Every year somebody somehow gets hurt. Some people slide on the court and twist their ankle, or say your back gives out, or your wrist, it’s always something,” said Scott.
Softball has seen its fair share of injuries as well, as demonstrated by Alyssa Chae, a sophomore competing on Grandview’s junior varsity softball team.
“My glove wasn’t broken in so I kept catching the ball wrong and I did something to my thumb. I messed up some part of my joint,” said Chae.
Chae revealed that she was hesitant to tell her coach because she was scared to see the coach’s reaction.
“They told us not to get injured and they were like, ‘it’s your fault if you get injured’,” said Chae.
On the other hand, Brian Wood, the boy’s soccer head coach, acknowledges that as far as the soccer team goes, less players have been suffering from sports related injuries.
“We try to stress nutrition; one of the big things in soccer now is periodization, where you are really looking at trying to space out when you're having high impact on players to try to reduce the injures,” said Wood.
Wood explains that the health of the athlete may fall out of the hands of the school, “Clubs still have practices during the high school season..we’re trying to reduce the impact on them, but they still get a lot of it back from club practice.”
Although the soccer team may try to reduce injuries to their athletes by carefully planning out practice, in certain sports athletes still face challenges during the daily after-school training.
Softball, for example, seems to have a difficult practice schedule. Chae feels the rigor of these practices is usually quite difficult for her.
“Compared to other sports I’ve done, it [practice] is harder; we had to run a mile before practice every day and that was rough,” said Chae.
On the other hand, Scott doesn’t think that practices are the cause of injury in tennis players.
“I think that the practices are at the level that they should be, they help everybody and it’s not like anybody is getting hurt because the practices are too difficult,” said Scott.
Regardless of coach policies and practice intensity, injury in athletes is still common, although the causes of injury vary from sport to sport. As a community we must prioritize the health and well being of the athlete over the desire to win.