Pre-season is drawing to a close, as we approach the Easter break. Many teams use pre-season to get teams back to improving fitness after a summer break, reconnecting as a team and generally getting back into the routine of training.
Pre-season however is also what I call niggle time. Some aches and pains will work themselves out, as the body tries to adapt to more vigorous training, but others shouldn’t be ignored.
Common club team injuries
About a month from now, we commonly see people playing in club teams across all sports seeking treatment on hamstring, groin and calf muscle strains. All injuries that can be prevented if pre-season training aims at progressively hitting the right loads of strength and speed.
Interestingly, according to a recent study, injury rates are approximately 27x higher in matches than in training.
How to condition the body
This means we need to properly condition the body and running muscles for matches with higher intensity training. Bouts of maximum velocity running have also been shown to be an effective method of reducing injury rates. So we get the Western Force guys to hit 3-5 reps of maximum speed twice a week, on top of the all the other training they do.
Progressively introduce speed
In your own training, you can do something similar by progressively introducing speed into your weekly training drills.
Make sure you do this gradually though because a sudden spike in very high speed sprints is one of the main culprits for overload injuries in all sports. Make sure you have a recovery day after training or an off-feet session.
Do this quick physical assessment
As you approach the end of pre-season, do this quick physical assessment to see if you’re where you want to be to start the 2019 season:
- Are there any ongoing aches and pains that you thought would have eased up by now?
- When stretching, is there more pain in one leg than the other?
- Is your back too tight with flexing to the ground?
- Can you palpate hard lumps in your muscles that are on one side by not the other?
- Are the bones sore to touch where your groin muscles attach on one or both sides?
Go and see your Physio
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then book a visit to your local physio over Easter so that you can lock in a great start to the season.