Getting Back in the Swing…Safely

girls playing soccer

While summer is still in full swing, many of our fall athletes are already starting practice this month. Every August, football, soccer, cross-country, and other athletes return to pre-season training at school, and unfortunately, a few end up in our offices with sports injuries. While we love treating athletes of all ages and abilities, we also want to share some injury prevention tips to help keep you safe:

  1. Be honest with your coach. Maybe you followed each summer workout perfectly, or maybe you skipped a few weeks. Either way, let your coach know. If you haven’t followed all of their programming, you may not be ready to participate fully in practice. Running for miles, cutting, and sprinting are all activities that take preparation, and if you’ve been skipping workouts, you may be more likely to get hurt.
  2. Hit the gym. Getting stronger will help you stay in shape so your body can handle the demands of your sport. If your team offers strength training sessions, take full advantage, and if not, try to bring a teammate and get at least one or two full body workouts in each week. Your muscles will thank you.
  3. Warm up and cool down. What you do right before and after practice can be just as important as the practice session itself. Make sure to arrive on time and stay the full session so you can prepare your body for practice and games. If your team doesn’t prioritize these sessions, try to arrive a few minutes early to warm up yourself.
  4. Stay hydrated. Just because football or soccer is considered a fall sport, that doesn’t mean it won’t be hot while you’re playing. Make sure to bring a water bottle and refill it as you’re playing to ensure you’re getting enough water. Your body cannot function properly without water.
  5. Fuel your body. After summer break, you may feel extra busy juggling practice, games, and school or work, but don’t skip out on eating healthy meals and snacks. When your activity level increases, so too should the number of calories you’re eating each day. Undereating can have detrimental effects on your body and make it more likely you get hurt playing.

Feeling like you’re not quite ready to return to sport? Or MOTION therapists can help get you back on the field. Contact our offices today if there’s a sports injury nagging you and keeping you from getting back in motion.