Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes
Pass these tips along to parents and team players about proper eating habits before,
during and after a soccer game:
- Eat far enough ahead so food doesn't make you sick to your stomach during the soccer
Eat a healthy meal about 3 or 4 hours before your practice or match.
- If you must snack, eat only a small quantity of a complex carbohydrate.
Foods such as cereal, English muffins, pasta or a piece of toast. Make sure it's no
less than an hour before the game.
- Three hours before any sport activity, drink a couple of glasses of water (12 oz.
Don't gulp! Sip the water slowly. One hour before game time, drink a little more water.
During the match, drink a little water every 15 minutes or so. Drinking fluids is
- After the game, drink more water.
Thirty minutes after any competition, eat a meal high in complex carbohydrates to help
restore your body's blood sugar (glycogen levels).
Source: Institute for the Study of Youth Sports
Goal Safety on the Soccer Field
You have nothing to fear from a quiet, unassuming portable soccer goal, right? Its
importance as the focus of a child's goal-kicking effort outweighs any possible danger,
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported 26 deaths and hundreds
of injuries since 1979 resulting from soccer goal accidents. Most of these injuries occur
when children climb on top of an unsecured goal, causing it to either break from the
strain (in the case of many homemade goals) or simply flip over onto an unsuspecting
victim. You only need to review some of the descriptions of injuries and deaths addressed
in the CPSC report to become saddened by this easily-preventable problem.
The bottom line is this: Goal safety is
everyone's job and your volunteers and parents need to be aware of the dangers.
The problem with goals is their shape. There is nothing in front of the goal to prevent
its tipping forward. The only way is to keep the back from lifting up.
Many portable goals are not professionally manufactured, and use the same heavy
materials for the front face (goal mouth), back and bottom. Using lighter materials for
the front and heavier materials for the bottom can help reduce the risk of goal
Still, even when they're properly built, securely anchoring the bottom
and back of portable goals is the most important step you can take to prevent soccer goal
injuries. Several anchoring methods are shown on the reverse of this flyer.
Part 2: Ways to Make Your Goal Safer
Properly anchored goals are less likely to cause an accident, but that's not the only
preventive measure you can take.
In several cases, children climbing on goals or getting underfoot while they are being
moved has resulted in serious accidents. Additionally, high winds may cause goals to tip
over. Therefore, never allow children to play on goals, and always exercise caution when
Most accidents don't happen during a game situation, but when kids are playing nearby
on a non-soccer day and get the idea to hang on the goal. So be sure goals are properly
stored when not in use, and disassemble them completely for the off-season.
The CPSC is working with manufacturers to address risks presented by
goals and to make movable soccer goals more stable. However, there are actions you can
take now to prevent accidents:
- Securely anchor or counter-weight portable goals at all
- Never climb on the net or goal framework.
- Remove nets when goals are not in use.
- Tip unused goals onto their goal face, or chain them face-to-face.
You can also chain unused goals to nearby fence posts or other sturdy fixtures.
- Check all connecting hardware before every use. Replace damaged or
missing fasteners immediately.
- Use warning labels and make sure they are clearly visible.
- Fully disassemble goals for off-season storage.
To get free safety labels, write
200 Castlewood Drive
North Palm Beach, FL 33408 or call any of these soccer goal manufacturers: BSN Sports,
Goal! Sporting Goods, Inc., (800) 334-4625
Kwik Goal Ltd., (800) 531-4252
Anchoring Your Goal
A properly secured/anchored goal is much less likely to tip over and cause injury.
Stake or auger anchors are best to secure movable goals. If using auger-type anchors, use
at least two. More may be necessary depending on the weight of the goal, soil conditions,
or manufacturer's specifications.
Pegs or stakes should be at least 10 inches in length and hammered in at an angle. If
top of stake is not flush with the ground, it should be clearly visible to persons playing
near the goal. If the base of the goal does not have pre-drilled holes, you can use J-Hook
Another type of anchor is called "semipermanent" A permanently secured base
is buried in the ground, and the portable goal is attached to it by a tether or
Net pegs are only meant to secure the net. They are not anchors!
Sandbags or other counterweights may be used where the surface does not allow for
conventional anchoring (such as an indoor facility).
Warning stickers are available FREE through several