Dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge. That was the mantra of the infamous Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Yesterday was the first time playing dodgeball since 2008. I was with the original Love Juice team who were best known for their crazy antics and cartwheel throws from Travis Tomlin and outstanding catching from Carolyn Tam.
We got to the gym and there was a sense of familiarity but also a pleasant surprise with how much the game has changed. There were plays, lots of teamwork and no one was to throw on their own (although I did, multiple times and had my balls caught!) But that wasn’t my biggest mistake. Even though the gym was cold, and I knew that I should have warmed up and gotten a few throws and catches in, I didn’t, and paid for it after. As a physiotherapist, I knew I should have gone for a few laps around the gym, performed some dynamic warm up, but I opted to socialize instead. After the first throw of the game, it felt as if the rotator cuff muscles ripped off my arm. After 4-5 more throws, I realized that I was in no position to throw the balls in fear that I would actually injury myself. Instead, I sat back, fed the balls to the guys who enjoyed throwing them, and positioned myself when I needed to catch. At one point I managed to twist my right knee to avoid being hit. This leads me to my next point. Regardless of the sport, injuries are bound to happen and dodgeball is no exception. Over the course of my short dodgeball career, I have seen multiple sprained ankles, jammed or broken fingers, Achilles tears, 2 broken humerus bones at the same location, bruised faces and egos. Even though you cannot always predict is going to happen, you can take the time to decrease the chances of injury.
1. Warm up
- Spend 5-10 minutes jogging around the gym to increase body temperature and heart rate
- Do a dynamic warm up for shoulders, hips, ankles
2. Be aware of your surrounding
- See where your teammates and opponents are so you know where the ball is coming from (easier said than done)
3. Brace yourself and play smart
- When you decide to perform a running high jump because the other team decided to throw all their balls at you at the same time, remember that there is a chance that you may land on one of those balls and sprain your ankle.