There is a very dangerous myth in sport that when it comes to injuries, the presence of pain should be the deciding factor of whether or not to declare your self fit to play.

Unfortunately this can be a very damaging decision to get wrong.

Coaches and parents making uninformed decisions about an injury can often cost a young sports star dearly if he or she plays when an injury hasn't quite healed. It's a risk and, I'm encouraging you not to gamble with their future success for the sake of one or two Sunday morning games.

It is vital that you listen to your players and seek the best advice possible when it comes to injury. In the same way that you are encouraging your players to listen to your advice in training, you must practice what you preach and follow suit if your stars are complaining of an injury.

Likewise, you may have to be more attentive to a player who is obviously trying to hide pain or is limping in a brave attempt to carry on.

The third most common injury in grassroots football is the meniscal tear (knee cartilage).

This is definitely one of those scenarios where you might be 'risking it all' if you choose to play with this injury.

I wrote last week about how it is damaged (if you missed it visit but the instability caused by this injury is the real issue that you should be aware of. If you have a meniscal tear, with arthroscopic surgery and even sometimes the right exercises, you can reduce the problems and pain.

However, a meniscal tear and the instability it can cause can lead too much more sinister problems such as an ACL tear. Instead of being sidelined for four to six weeks, your now looking at a season long lay off if the ACL is damaged.

As a player or a coach to prevent this injury you should be looking at quad strength exercises and balance work. Three really simple exercises:

1: Stand with a gym ball behind your back, leaning against a wall, straighten one leg in front of you and slowly bend and hold for 5 seconds

2: Stand on one leg, and place your foot on a gym ball behind you, slowly bend the knee you're standing on for five seconds

3: Jump straight up into the air and land in the squat position whilst maintaining balance. Repeat 10 times

I can email you a complete set of exercises for you to develop quad strength and balance to help reduce the chance of this injury happening. Please feel free to get in touch with me directly

On Twitter this week I will share with you a revealing video interview I did with former Middlesbrough FC player and Sky Sports' Chris Kamara.

Watch it and learn from the great advice he gives to players, parents and coaches of grassroots sports and find out what Kammy says is vital for a successful career in sport.