Is playing on turf affecting football players?
LORAS COLLEGE – Some football players have realized that playing on turf carries benefits as well as disadvantages. After playing on natural grass in high school, they are discovering that playing on artificial turf at Loras has increased their soreness after games and practices. This happens because turf is not as cushioned as grass, and the force of the movements of the athletes, instead of being absorbed by the ground, goes up the body of the player. Loras College head athletic trainer Chris Kamm stated that this force can cause tendonitis, muscle soreness, or other injuries.
Despite the possibility of injury, many college campuses have artificial turf on their football fields because it gives athletes a better grip and more precision in their movements. First year football player Joel Olsen talked about his preference: “Turf works a lot better for traction. There’s not as much chance for slipping and sliding, but as far as comfort goes, and less pain, grass is better”.
Kamm explained that athletic trainers practice stretching, heating and strengthening exercises with the athletes in order to treat the soreness and keep them in their best condition.