Still fresh from the exhilaration of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team Women’s World Cup win, it’s easy to look back and think only of the highlights. The incredible saves, that amazing goal from midfield, those last few seconds when you were sure the team won—those are definitely moments to remember. But we shouldn’t forget about other things that impacted the journey to becoming World Champions.
Along with the excitement leading up to the Women’s World Cup, there was a lot of discussion about the importance of playing on natural turf. This is something many people had never given much thought to, but it makes a big difference – not just for world-class athletes, but also for athletes of any age and ability playing at school, at the park, or at home. Here’s why:
- Natural Turf Means Safer Athletes – Well-maintained playgrounds and athletic fields provide a safer landing surface with more cushion for anyone who plays field sports.
- Real Grass Changes the Game – The feel of the surface is important for all athletes, especially soccer players. Artificial turf alters the speed and quality of play, impacting every aspect of the game.
- Less Impact, More Play – Natural grass also creates softer, cooler fields with less pounding and impact on muscles and joints, making it easier and safer on the athletes.
While artificial turf was the surface the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team played on in the World Cup, earlier competitions and practice on natural turf helped reduce injuries prior to the games, setting them up for success in the long run. Whether you’re a professional athlete, or you just want to maintain a great lawn for your kids to play on, there are significant benefits to natural turf. Here are some ways to keep your field game-ready:
- Healthy Athletes Need a Healthy Field – Grass needs certain nutrients so it can grow well. Proper fertilization is important to keep grass healthy, so nourish your grass using products formulated for your region to keep it in tip top shape—just like the athletes who will play on it!
- An Integrated Plan is Key – Invasive weeds and insects like grubs can infest and destroy playing fields and potentially impact the health and safety of athletes, if not treated. An integrated pest management (IPM) approach is important to identify, monitor and, as needed, control weeds, insects and diseases that harm grass.
- Your Lawn Has Specific Needs – Each field has its own needs, which can vary with region, soil type, weather patterns, field use, and more. With proper maintenance, natural grass fields do not have a fixed life and can be used for more than 20 years without replacement.
We should celebrate athletes and their abilities, not just by cheering them on, but also by providing them with a safe and well-maintained playing surface. Natural grass keeps the game we love more fun, and the athletes we love, safe.
Follow us on Twitter using #BackyardBoss to learn more about the benefits of natural turf.