As we begin to venture out of isolation and back into society, there is an air of excitement about the return of the things we love! Sport being one of them. How good is it to be back on the pitch, back on the court, back in the water with your team mates! Likelihood is though, during an extended break, the intensity of training you’ve been putting your body through (if any) hasn’t prepared you well enough for a return to play.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of conditioning during isolation, there is a high chance of soft tissue injuries occurring. We’ve already see in elite sporting settings like AFL, where a number of soft tissue injuries have come about with the return to high level training. It turns out, no athlete is immune to return to play injuries in 2020. So how can you prevent a soft tissue injury with your own return to sport this season?
One thing you definitely should not do is overtrain to make up for time lost! Training must be progressed. Slowly increase your loading over the “mini preseason” phase and allow for your body to catch up.
Strength AND Conditioning
Returning to sport may have you believing that you now have to do only your sport for fitness. Keeping a good balance of strength training along with your sports conditioning training is very important to avoid developing an injury.
Have you taken up long distance running in isolation? Great if you’re a distance runner, not so great if you’re sport requires 20m max efforts. If your sport requires you to do sprint efforts, then it’s time to start increasing your short and sharp sprint training. Repeat sprint efforts in training can better prepare you for return to sport and reduce your risk of hamstring or calf injury.
Allow for Recovery
Recovery is equally as important as returning to training, so schedule yourself recovery days to allow your body to repair. If you’ve picked up any niggles or tightness, see your healthcare professional for advice. Our team of Osteopaths and Physiotherapists at Alpha Sports Medicine are happy to help any returning athletes.
Returning to sport will be great for all of us, not only for physical health but mental health as well! Just remember to be kind to your body, allow for time to get back to performance condition and work with your coaching staff to manage your individual return to play.