Start Slow and Build Up
Sprains/Strains can happen if the volume of training is increased too much too fast. I know I did this as a kid with no pre-training for my sports seasons. Too Much training too fast can lead to tendonitis/osis or inflammation of a tendon, muscle strain, or stress fractures. Gradually loading or increasing training intensity will help to reduce this. Starting training 2 months in advance will allow enough time for the body to adapt and be ready for the quick increase in the intensity of the pre-season. Consult a Personal Trainer, Athletic Trainer, or Physical Therapist for the best recommendations on how to increase your training intensity in the pre-season.
With all training plans, rest and recovery are vital. The tissues of the body need this in order to adequately recover to give full effort at the next training session. Rest and recovery time does not need to be complete rest. It can be active or utilize cross-training. An example of cross-training for a runner or a sport with running would be to include swimming, cycling, or walking into a few of the days. Muscles do need 24-48 hours to fully recover when taxed. Recovery times can improve as your body adapts to the load placed on it. Make sure you take the time and rest adequately between training sessions.
When tendons get strained, typical treatment includes strength training specific to that tendon. Training your strength ahead of time can help those tendons and muscles adapt so that injury becomes less likely.
We touched on this earlier, but cross-training is a great way to decrease injury. It helps to change the stresses on the body, so your main activity gets a little rest. If you are training for soccer, including some cycling, walking, or basketball could be good ways to cross-train and still get strength and endurance benefits.
Play Many Sports
Dedicating all your time to one sport is great because you can get really good at it, but your body’s stresses never change and can lead to injury. If your sights are on the NFL, it would be good to play another sport as well. Michael Jordan tried out baseball for a while. All of the 2015 Women’s National Soccer Team players did not specialize in soccer until after high school.
Any questions on how to do this, give us a call here at Impact. We can do injury screens and risk assessments.