If you’re not a seasoned veteran when it comes to sports and kids, you might be wondering why your child needs a soccer physical, where you should get one and why schools and coaches require them. We’re here to help you understand.
States Require Soccer Physicals
Many states require sports physicals as a precondition to participation on a sports team. Part of the reason behind these laws is the frightening, yet rare reality of student athletes passing away during sporting contests. You can get a soccer physical for your child at your school nurse’s office, from your doctor or at an urgent care facility.
Sports physicals help ensure that children are physically able to endure the strenuous activity required in many sports. If your child has a preexisting condition that makes him unfit for strenuous physical activity, not getting a soccer physical could put his health and well being in jeopardy.
Soccer is a Strenuous Sport
While it may not have as much contact as football or require the equipment that baseball does, soccer requires intense physical conditioning that includes:
• Endurance running
• Weight training
• Kicking and agility drills
Soccer players must be able to run up and down a field for an hour or more while kicking, dribbling and throwing a soccer ball. Athletes train before and after games by lifting weights, running, jumping hurdles, throwing medicine balls and performing drills and scrimmages. To ensure athletes’ safety, schools, soccer clubs and soccer camps require soccer physicals.
What Doctors Look For at Soccer Physicals
During a soccer physical, a nurse or doctor will focus attention on your child’s blood pressure and pulse, listen carefully for heart murmurs or abnormal heart sounds, check your child’s vision and breathing and will verify that your child’s posture, flexibility and strength are sufficient for soccer. Sometimes, a follow up test like an EKG (electrocardiogram) may be required if the doctor suspects an abnormality.
A complete medical history is also an important part of a soccer physical. The doctor or nurse will use it to scan for sudden deaths, pain while exercising, allergies, injuries, medications and chronic conditions like asthma that may adversely affect your child’s health while playing and training for soccer games. Try to think of a soccer physical as a safeguard rather than an inconvenience; while it may seem unnecessary, in some cases, it just may save your child’s life.
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