A) What role does physical preparation play in enhancing the wellbeing of the athlete?
Physical preparation plays a major role in injury prevention. Some preparation techniques include;
• Pre – screening= Allows an exercise program to be tailored to the individuals needs based on age, health status, gender, previous experience etc.
• Skill and technique= many sports injuries happen as a result of poor technique. Injuries may come from a single blow e.g. Poor head position when making a tackle in rugby, or repeated minor impacts/overuse e.g. tennis players may suffer stress fractures to the spine.
• Physical fitness = Athletes should focus on the specific fitness requirements of their sport, this will greatly reduce the risk of injury e.g. neck stretching exercises to reduce the risk of neck injury in a rugby scrum. Individuals need to undertake specific preparation for these reasons: previous injury, medical conditions, disabilities etc.
• Warm – up, stretching and cool down = the purpose of the warm up is to; increase blood flow and oxygen levels, increase body temperature, stretch muscles and ligaments to reduce risk of injury, assist mental preparation, allow athletes to compete at their physical and mental peak.
– A warm up is best structured into 3 parts. Gentle exercise e.g. jogging, Stretching and vigorous exercise e.g. short sharp sprints.
In the last ten years, our culture has changes dramatically. Our nation was once a physically active nation, yet now it seems that society discourages physical activity. Everyone knows that physical fitness is important to his or her health. Physical education helps students improve their knowledge about health issues and practices that will lead to a more enjoyable life. Some schools do not ...
– Cool down – a cool down is necessary to assist the body in returning to its normal pre – exercise state.
Coaches/trainers should be aware and cater to individual needs during the training process.
B) Analyse why sports medicine has a focus on the specific demands of children, young athletes and female athletes.
Sports medicine focuses on women, children and young athletes because the body composition of these groups, are less suited to the rigours of physical activity, and therefore injuries and conditions develop.
E.g. Conditions and injuries in children and young athletes:
Children are not little adults, so performance pressure should be minimised and all aspects of their physical mental and social health should be considered.
Medical conditions common in children include –
*Asthma = the narrowing of the arteries, making breathing difficult, especially during physical activity. Strenuous physical activity can lead to asthma attacks. Swimming is a beneficial form of exercise for asthmatic children.
* Diabetes – Diabetics should prepare for physical activity by following an appropriate diet and measuring their blood sugar levels to prevent hyperglycaemia, which can cause collapse and unconsciousness.
*Epilepsy = It is important to know that intense physical activity has been known to induce seizures in some individuals. This can cause temporary memory/ awareness loss and/or a full seizure.
Overuse injuries common in children and young athletes –
Until the age of 11-12 approx. Boys and girls grow at the same rate and have a similar body composition. At the age of about 13 in girls and 15 in boys a growth spurt occurs that stretches the bones, muscles and tendons, this can cause pain during physical activity. Parents and coaches should ensure that correct warm-up procedures are being used and that appropriate equipment e.g. footwear is being used.
1.1 Explain why physical activity is important to the short and long term health and well-being of children: Physical activity is extremely important to the short and long term health and well-being of children. Without physical activity children’s growth and development would be affected. Physical activity strengthens children’s bones, improves their flexibility, strengthens muscles and often ...
Thermoregulation in children and young athletes –
Children have less developed sweat glands then adults; because of this they are more prone to dehydration. Sweating is an important means of cooling the body but is unavailable to children so they are more likely to suffer from heat stress. Children also suffer from extremes in body temp (hot and cold).
Parents and coaches should ensure that children exercise for no more than 30 mins on extremely hot or cold days and that they drink plenty of water.
Appropriate resistance training –
As mentioned above, children are not little adults and any resistance training programs should be modelled with that in mind. The best resistance training programs are those that require the child to lift their own body weight.
Conditions common in female athletes –
Bone Density –
Bone density is the thickness and amount of calcium in the bones. This is especially relevant in regards to female athletes because women stop absorbing calcium at a certain age. This can cause conditions such as osteoporosis an ammorhea later in life (after menopause).
Women are encouraged to have a high calcium diet, especially after menopause. Good sources of calcium include: Milk, cheese and yogurt.
Iron deficiency –
Females need 2x the iron that males do. This is mostly due to the loss of iron during menstruation, but also results from iron being transferred to the foetus during pregnancy. Iron is also important when female athletes are training. Low iron levels can result in fatigue, weakness, lethargy and anaemia. Good sources of iron are: red meat, poultry, nuts and green leafy veggies.
To avoid the risk of miscarriage or complications pregnant athletes should stick to these guidelines:
• Don’t start a new exercise program during pregnancy
• Avoid vigorous exercise
• Decrease your exercise intensity
• Avoid collision sports, Scuba diving, parachuting etc.
• Avoid overheating and heat stress
• Warm up and cool down properly
• Avoid dehydration
• Consult with your doctor
• Stop exercise at any form of pain of discomfort.
In our society today one of the most difficult problems we are facing is the large numbers of obesity in our children. One of the major factors in that is this; our children have become less physically active. At an early age children start watching TV, learn how to operate a computer, and play video games. Having technological skills is now a necessity in all of our lives because everything has ...
Eating Disorders –
In western society eating disorders e.g. anorexia nervosa and bulimia have an incidence rate of 5%. Eating disorders lead to starvation and dehydration, both of which decrease your ability to perform. Eating disorders are common in ‘appearance’ sports e.g. gymnastics and figure skating and endurance sports e.g. triathlon.