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Devin Morrissey
March 06, 2018

Mistakes Athletes Make When Getting Into New Sports

new sports athletePhoto by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash

In the spirit of competition and sport, we sometimes forget the risks that come with our chosen activities. Athletes, especially young athletes, often make mistakes when starting a new sport. In this article, we’ll talk about common mistakes like overexertion, lacking the proper equipment, and disregarding safety precautions.

Take in this information to avoid injuries that could hinder your hobbies or even career aspirations, and pass this on to the other athletes you know and care about. It’s all fun and games until you roll an ankle and get benched the rest of the season. Let’s keep you safe by avoiding the following mistakes:


When getting into a new sport, you might feel the need to “keep up” with the rest of the team no matter where your limits currently stand. But Kansas State University reported that overexertion related injuries account for millions of emergency room visits a year.

Injuries resulting from overexertion, dehydration, and low blood sugar can lead to mild or severe health issues, but they are preventable. To protect yourself from an injury, practice the following preventative measures:

  • Take regular breaks
  • Know your limits, especially if you have existing health conditions
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat healthy food and get enough calories in your diet
  • Get eight hours of high-quality sleep every night

If you start to feel fatigued, take a break immediately and contact your doctor if you suspect an injury or illness. There’s a fine line between competition and taking things too far. Don’t get carried away or you could end up in one of those emergency room visits.

Wrong Equipment

One of the common mistakes athletes make when starting a new sport is not equipping themselves with the right gear. You might think you’ll try out the sport first and then invest in proper gear, but this leaves your body vulnerable to an injury.

The proper gear, in the correct size, is essential to your long-term success as an athlete. The gear is there for a reason: to protect you from injury. Just like you wear your seat belt in the car, always wear the correct gear in any sport you play. Here are some of the items you might want to consider:

  • Protective eyewear
  • Helmets
  • Mouthguards
  • Safety pads
  • Athletic shoes

Also, remember to update your gear if it’s been a few years since you pulled that helmet out of storage. New technology has helped us develop innovative football safety equipment, like helmets that are more effective at protecting your head and mouthguards that are far more comfortable than past options.

Disregarding Safety

Taking the right safety precautions in dangerous sports, such as surfing or football, could save your life. No matter the sport you choose to pursue, it is essential to know the risks and how you can prevent an injury.

For example, all surfers know the importance of shark safety. They know how to differentiate a shark fin from a dolphin and which sharks are harmless to humans. They also know the safety tips all surfers must remember, like avoiding surfing at dusk or dawn, never swimming alone, avoiding sea lions and other shark food.

Athletes in other sports know the rules of their game too, like the importance of mouthguards in basketball and football. Never jump into a new sport before you know the rules, including safety rules.

Sports are an essential part of life for most people, especially athletes. Unfortunately, these mistakes can sometimes ruin a sport for an athlete’s entire life or could injure them to the point of altering their physical abilities forever. When entering a new sport, ensure to do your research and prepare yourself with knowledge to avoid these common mistakes.

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