Common Injuries


Ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls beyond its normal range overstretching or tearing the ligaments. Lateral ankle sprains occur when the foot rolls inward injuring the ligaments on the outside of the ankle which include the anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. During football, this injury results from twisting the ankle during running or from direct contact with another player.


The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments that stabilize the knee. It prevents excessive forward movement of the tibia (shin bone) on the femur (thigh bone). It is located inside the knee joint. During football, this injury results from direct contact with another player during a tackle, or while cutting or pivoting.

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the inner aspect of the knee. It prevents excessive inward movement of the tibia. Injury to the MCL in football usually results from a direct blow to the outside of the knee during a tackle.


The acromioclavicular joint is part of the shoulder girdle where the clavicle (collar bone) meets the scapula (shoulder blade). An AC joint sprain or separation occurs when the ligaments stabilizing the joint are overstretched or torn. In football, this results from a direct blow to the shoulder from a tackle or a fall onto the shoulder.

The rotator cuff is comprised of four muscles that act to stabilize the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tendonitis refers to inflammation or microtears of the tendon. In football injury to the rotator cuff results from overuse due to the repetitive stress of throwing or a direct blow to the shoulder.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke occurs when the body reaches temperatures of 104 due to prolonged exposure or physical exertion in high temperatures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency as it can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, heart, muscles, and even death. Signs and symptoms include increased body temperature, altered mental state, nausea, vomiting, headache and flushed skin. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. Prevention includes staying hydrated, allowing adequate rest periods, avoiding practice during the hottest time of the day, and wearing light colored, loose fitting clothing.


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that is usually caused by a direct blow to the head. Signs and symptoms include headache, confusion, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, sensitivity to light and difficulty concentrating. Athletes with a suspected concussion should seek medical attention before returning to play.


  • Initiate a pre-season training program to prepare the body to meet the demands of the sport
  • Allow adequate rest to recover from exercise and don’t play through pain to avoid overuse injuries
  • Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet
  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of training
  • Be assessed by a medical care provider or trainer if displaying signs and symptoms of concussion
  • Avoid practices during the hottest time of day
  • Work with coaches on proper tackle, blocking and throwing techniques
  • Wear protective equipment with proper fit