Athletes returning to play after a long break, we will see an increase in injuries.
When returning to play, we often see injuries. (Note: We don’t always see injuries during these periods but they are likely)
Beginning a post-season program after a week or two of rest, inquires
Athletes returning from spring break, injuries
Winter and Spring athletes retuning after summer break, injuries
These current times with all sports being on hold means all athletes will be returning to play after a long time away from their strength and conditioning coach or personal trainer. I know most college athletes and professional athletes have their coaches checking in on them via calls, video chat and even apps such as Zoom. Maybe not young athletes though. More on that in a minute.
Even though collegiate and professional athletes may have someone checking in on them, that does not mean they are immune to injuries when play returns. Check out the NBA when it returns, there will be an increase in injuries. When the NFL starts up (if it does on time), you are going to see an increase in injuries because they missed a lot of time with their performance staff this spring and possibly summer. The NBA did announce that when they do plan to return, they want one month of training before the season begins again. VERY SMART. Hopefully that will limit injuries and allow athletes to readjust to the daily grind of sport. We will see if that actually happens.
I can only hope when all sports return, every league from little league to professional teams allow at least a month of training and practice before competitions resume. That will save many athletes from injuries.
When collegiate strength and conditioning coaches (also known as sports performance coaches among other things) send programs home with athletes, they hope they follow them. Sadly that is never the case for every athlete. For every athlete that follows the entire program, there is an athlete who lost their program within the first week. Or often times what happens is when athletes are left to workout on their own (even if they have a well designed program from a professional), they focus on the wrong things. They focus on the mirror muscles (chest/arms/abs) or they neglect to properly train their hamstrings. Both situations I have seen many times at the college level.
Collegiate athletes and professional athletes may not follow their programs or fail to train at a high level on their own, but young athletes returning to play also makes me nervous.
Many young athletes may not have proper supervision and guidance at this time either. They may not have someone checking in on them and their parents may not be holding them accountable. I understand, things are different for everyone right now. Schedules are changed. Parents are homeschooling their kids, trying to work from home, enjoying some type of down time and maybe work on on their own as well.
However, if you plan on having your child return to sports eventually, they need to make sure they are ready to practice/play so they stay healthy. After all, that is always the goal. Stay safe and healthy. As a parent, if you can help them please do. If you are not sure exactly what to do to help them, that if fine. However try to find resources (me for example) that can set your child up for future success.
If you are the parent of a young athlete, make sure they are training hard, eating healthy and getting enough sleep.
Here are my recommendation for safely returning to play…
Continue intense training now. Even if you cannot use weights
Go outside and do sprints multiple times per week
Make sure you get plenty of sleep EVERY NIGHT
Make sure to eat healthy every day (it’s ok to have a cheat meal once in awhile). Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snacks
Make sure you team/league has organized activity for at least a month before competition begins
When practice returns, less may be more. Do not assume athletes are ready to practice hard. Evaluate them first. This process may take a week…maybe more. Do not rush it
If you have any questions about training, programming, nutrition or anything about performance, please email or call me. I am ready and happy to help.
Stay safe, healthy and happy. Take Care.