How to get better at your sport.
Injury prevention is one of the most valuable investments in yourself you can make. Read on for why…
At RHP Physiotherapy, we love sports. We also love helping athletes get better at their sport.
In our clinics we support young and developing athletes, mature athletes and elite athletes in a range of sporting endeavours.
The most popular sports for us are Football (soccer) and Netball, along with Touch footy, swimming, athletics and golf.
What we see and what the evidence tells us in research is quite simple and logical.
How do you get better at your sport? You have to train.
You have to train consistently, continue pushing yourself and don’t stop.
Here is the other thing we see…
Injuries hurt. Not only are injuries painful, but they hurt your progress!
Some injuries are of course more significant than others with some resulting in significant time away from training. Others may recur regularly, which results in an accumulation of time away from training.
So, the real key here is to avoid injury!
By avoiding injury, you have full availability to train at every opportunity.
There is diligence involved here, in the form of consistent and small efforts to improve your physical abilities in line with what your body can tolerate and what injury you might be most likely to suffer (different for each sport).
If you invest time and consistency into your body, you will be more likely to continue training.
By training more consistently over a number of years your game will improve, without a doubt.
By missing training due to injury, unfortunately your progress is absent.
Now, I know that you don’t know where to fit this in during the week. There isn’t enough time to do it and you’ve been fine so far, so you can’t see yourself getting injured in the future.
I hope you are right! But it will not be true for everyone.
So, how do we get around the lack of time but still prevent some injuries?
There are in fact a number of warm-up programs in a variety of sports that are proven to reduce injury rates.
In soccer/ football, the FIFA11+ program can be done before training at least 1.5 times per week and will reduce the overall injury rate by 35%. That’s super easy to implement, since it only takes 15 minutes and can be done as part of the usual training session anyway!
Amazingly, if you split some of the strengthening exercises away from the warm-up and put them at the end of training, the injury rate drops even further to 45% reduction from normal.
If you don’t know of a program in your sport, you can often find one in a similar sport and make some simple changes to better suit you or your team.
So, to ensure you continue training and improving your game, stay injury free and available to train! Not only will this help yourself, but your team benefits too.