Does your arm hurt? Do you feel like you can’t move after playing dodgeball? Do you love dodgeball and school so much and don’t want to have to give it up due to injury? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you. The LDL season is starting to go into full effect, shaggers are getting comfortable with shagging and throwers are starting to discover their throwing potential. However, pain and discomfort can still arise after playing a good game of dodgeball. This is mostly because the right precautions are not being taken. Here is a list of steps that you should follow so that you can continue to enjoy playing the lovely game that is dodgeball.
Step 1 would obviously be to stretch. A good stretch can be a make it or break it situation when it comes to injury in any sport; shaggers should do their static stretching (warm up the groin and legs, maybe get some practice shags and dodges in before the game), and throwers should be doing repetitions, i.e. start close to the wall with light throws and slowly move back while increasing power. It is also a good idea for throwers to start warming up their dodging too, not only will it make your team better because your throwers can dodge, but it also warms up the otherwise forgotten parts of your body that are subject to injury once the game starts.
Step 2 in our very organized list is icing AFTER you play. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it and how many times people ignore it; for optimal recovery, icing is key, especially if you can feel the pain immediately. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that just because you feel fine right after a game doesn’t mean you’ll feel the same the next day. Injuries can still sneak up on you post activity, so icing critical areas is a good habit to get into. My suggestion would be to go out and buy your own ice-pack or bring a bag to the caf. I personally wouldn’t recommend Lister ice baths for recovery here but if that’s your thing, go ahead, it will help your muscles (probably not your reputation though).
Step 3 in our ladder to an injury-free league is not overworking your limits. Cool down every now and then, yeah you might have a cannon and want to show it off, but the cannon is useless if you have a broken arm (yes, people have broken their arms). Maybe don’t go to 6 drop-ins in a row, or go full Randy Johnson every time you throw. Most arms in Lister aren’t trained to be rotating at full power for a full hour, even more so if you haven’t gotten in a good stretch or don’t treat yourself to a nice icing afterwards. If your arm is recovering and you still want to play dodgeball, maybe try something that’s a little out of your comfort zone, like shagging if you’re a thrower, it can expand your dodgeball game quite a bit. On this note as well, please don’t take pain suppressants before the game, I’ve seen numerous injuries occur because people were in pain but they tried to hide it through drugs like Advil. If you want something for muscle pain, stick to Rub A535, Tiger Balm or any other hot cream.
The final key to a successful dodgeball career is knowing when to take it easy. What I mean by this is that if you feel sore, it probably isn’t the best idea to go ahead and play again right away. Take some time off to let your body recover fully before inducing it to more stress and strain, even if it means sitting off a couple more games than you normally would, or skipping a really lit drop in, your body will thank you for it.
So just to recap for those of you who may or may not have been too lazy to read the whole thing, be sure to stretch before you play and be sure to ice after you play. Dodgeball is strenuous on your body, take it easy every now and then, and finally, if you are sore, don’t aggravate the injury more, take a break and let yourself heal.
Not convinced? Here are a few real-life high class athletes (plus a bonus one of me) showing you that taking proper steps to preventing injury is cool:
Here is a picture of LA Dodgers Pitcher Clayton Kershaw icing his arm.
Still not convinced? Here is a picture of McJez in what looks to be the Kelsey tunnels, icing his leg after an intense game of dodgeball.