Injury Prevention- part two
In the previous article I talked about two types of injury, Non contact and contact, and a little about common muscles and joints in football that can be injured. In Part two I talk a litte more about Injury Prevention and getting a proper warm up, stretching and recovery from training.
The old turn up to training, chuck the boots on and kick a ball around before you train and play hard is a recipe for injury!
WHY? – Cold muscles don’t like moving fast, which is why we always include a warm up before training and matches, the increased blood flow to the muscles allows for quicker movement, and stronger forces to be produced in the muscles, inclusion of a proper warm up designed for the session in mind is essential to helping the body be ready for action.
Stretching; muscles that can move through the range of motion required for your sport are more happy than those that aren’t.
The classic example is a hamstring. If your hamstring is short and tight, it will restrict the straightening of your leg, the lunging forward of a tackle can result in your leg being extended more than normal, a tight hamstring (amongst other possible muscles) can result in it being strained as it’s forced to stretch quickly, through a range of motion it isn’t capable of doing easily.
There are a lot of arguments from the different camps on when to stretch whether it should before or after activity. Stretching is a form of training in itself, especially if you are trying to improve it. Sessions dedicated to stretching should be part of all players programs to ensure the range of motion is maintained and to help avoid injury.
At the Academy we follow a certain structure
- General Warm up: this consists of getting the blood flow going and will include some running and basic abdominal and upperback postural exercises.
- Light Stretch: is started covering all the muscle groups that will be involved in that sessions training.
- Specific warm up: back into a more specific warm up that increases the tempo and helps the players to be more mentally in tune for the session ahead.
- End of Session: Warm down stretch at the end of training.
Recovery; playing too much sport, eating poorly, and not getting enough sleep can result in your body not resting properly. This can lead to it affecting your balance, lower energy and slower game speed decisions on the pitch. Leading to injuries which can be avoided.
Allowing your body to recover; of which SLEEP is one of the most important, is a priority when approaching injury prevention. The average should be around 7-8 hrs of uninterrupted sleep.
What not to do before bed Playing video games, Watching T.V, Using a mobile phone are all sure fire ways of disrupting your sleep as it keeps your brain stimulated. Reading and relaxing before bed will set someone up for a better night sleep.
Taking care and being motivated to do the little things which add up and help protect you from injury, will lead to more fun and more time on the field and less time on the sidelines.