Goalie Soccer Injuries

Soccer is played by athletes around the world. Traditionally, a soccer team is composed of 11 players, including a defensive goalie. Unfortunately, soccer goalies are often exposed to a number of injuries during practice and games. Understanding why these injuries happen can be effective when it comes to their prevention.
According to the International Federation of Association Football, ankle sprains are the most common injury faced by soccer goalies. To prevent the opposing team from scoring, goalies must often jump in the air to block the ball — and while landing, may twist an ankle on fellow teammates or opponents. Wearing the right type of ankle supports can be effective when it comes to avoiding this type of painful soccer goalie injury.
Bone fractures are an especially serious example of the injuries faced by soccer goalies. Bone fractures among soccer goalies often occur when the athlete jumps to block a goal and lands improperly on a foot or ankle. In addition, attempting to stop a soccer ball with your hands can result in a painful fracture, especially when the delicate bones of the fingers receive the greatest amount of impact. Receiving a direct kick to the arms, legs, torso or head — whether intentional or not — can be to blame for the development of a fractured or even broken bone.
While head injuries can occur in any sport, they are especially common among soccer goalies, who often use their head to stop or redirect the ball — without protection from a helmet. In addition to repeated strikes from a soccer ball, goalies may be more likely to hit their head on the ground, goalposts or other players. Repeated blows to the head, such as those that occur during these kinds of traumas, can cause certain types of brain damage known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Bruises, scrapes, scratches and a host of other various contusions are common among soccer goalies. As goalies collide with the ground, the goalposts and other athletes, some bruises and scrapes occur. In addition to contusions that are associated with a fall, goalies may also develop bruises as a result of kicks and hits from opponents. Goalies with especially delicate skin may even bruise after blocking a soccer ball with their arms or hands.
Wearing the right kind of protective gear — such as a shin guards — is crucial for soccer goalies who want to avoid serious contusions, fractures or breaks to their lower extremities. Athletes who hope to avoid head injuries may want to consider the use of a protective helmet. Sturdy soccer cleats that fit properly and provide ankle support may be effective in the prevention of ankle sprains and potential bone fractures.

Visualization Techniques for Athletes

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus often used mental imagery to visualize his swing and even the trajectory of the ball before getting ready to play. Mental imagery is a helpful tool that can help athletes focus on their strengths, build confidence and improve performance. Although it¡¯s not a substitute for practice and hard work, it can help you achieve your goals and improve your game.
Visualization, or mental imagery, is a technique in which you imagine yourself in a specific environment performing a specific activity. It can help you familiarize yourself with a mental run-through of a race course or complicated play before an event. You might use visualization to view yourself performing at a higher level. It¡¯s also an effective motivation tool, reminding you of your objectives and helping to inspire confidence.
Mental imagery is most successful when it becomes a habit that you practice every day, but you should also use it before, during and after training. Spend time during each imagery session mentally practicing and focusing on proper techniques and skills. Before an event starts during a competition, mentally run through your plan, focusing on any significant plays, skills, movements and reactions or any feelings you want to use during your performance. A study in France, published in August 2005 in ¡°Perceptual and Motor Skills,¡± showed that mental imagery combined with physical practice greatly improves performance even with beginning athletes.
Bad habits make you focus on the past instead of looking ahead to the future. To force yourself out of this negative cycle, use pattern-breaking techniques. A pattern breaker can be a word or phrase you shout in your mind or a physical action such as snapping an elastic wrist band whenever you feel a bad habit or negative feeling creeping in again. If you have a role model athlete you want to emulate, you can also use his name as your pattern breaker, imagining how your role model would approach a situation.
Learn to summon confidence by taking deep breaths, then picturing any fears you have about your performance. Imagine filling your body with confidence through your breathing and thoughts as you trap fear inside a mental bubble that fades or shrinks. If any fear remains, imagine a chat between your confidence and fears, asking the fears what they want confidence to do whenever you experience doubts.
Close your eyes and describe frame by frame, like in a movie, each part of an activity you want to accomplish, such as a skating move or throwing a basketball through a hoop. Draw attention to every small detail in that activity. Imagine what the ice sounds like as you twirl, what the leather on a basketball feels like, what smells you sense inside the arena. Imagine every part of the activity in this way, slowing down the movie and observing each movement in sequence, using all your senses. As the movie ends, the last frame will be a successful end to your activity, whether it¡¯s a skating jump or a ball going into the goal.
Sports psychologist Dr. Jeff Simons of California State University, East Bay, developed a ¡°Quick Set¡± routine to help you create an effective mental image in the last 30 seconds before a competition or as a way to refocus after a distraction. It involves physical, emotional and focus cues. For the physical cue, close your eyes, clear your mind and breathe deeply and rhythmically, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then comes the emotional cue, in which you imagine a previous win and recreate those feelings of success. Focus on the exact start moment of the competition, such as blasting off on the ¡°B¡± of the bang during a sprint.


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