Athletes in all sports risk injury, whether from contact in the sport or from overuse. The most frequent sports injuries are sprains (injuries to ligaments, which connect bones together) and strains (injury to tendons, which connect muscles to bones). These are caused when abnormal stress is placed on tendons, joints, bones and muscles. Other injuries include pulled muscles and, more rarely, broken bones. General guidelines to reduce the risk of injury include taking time off between seasons, taking breaks during practices, wearing the right gear, strengthening your muscles, increasing flexibility, playing safely, stopping when you feel pain and avoiding heat injury. Find out how to remain injury-free with advice and suggestions from the nation’s elite coaches and athletes.