A player’s or athlete’s most dreaded word is injury. Likewise is the time needed away from training until the player/athlete is back to 100% health. Often this causes a loss in performance to fitness which winds the clock back to ‘start again’ through various phases of periodisation. If not following a peak performance pathway and/or program, an injury can still derail a player/athlete from simply being pushed to the sideline and can be debilitating in various ways form not being able to play the sport you enjoy the most, being involved to progressing towards set goals/objectives you’ve been working towards.
The good news is that steps can be put in place to mitigate the onset of injury. The bad news is that too often these are overlooked and players/athletes end up developing an injury and eventually, stop participating all together. Before this ‘worst case scenario’ happens, it comes down to learning more about your overall development — as the player/athlete, and also for your parents to equally understand and be informed of this management to key steps to put in place. Then it comes down to the coach and building a solid foundation and to also press the coach to ensure their pedagogic underpinnings support and are conscious of these pathways to programs and steps to put in place to safeguard the player/athlete and for the parents — your child and the hefty bills, at times, that come along with the rehabilitation process.
Being upfront that injuries can happen and being prepared to put the work in to prevent them, is a players/athletes greatest weapon.
But this also includes being aware that your foundations may need a shake up and you’ll need to put the work in off the court, field, pool or wherever your training is based, to condition your body for the long haul. And whilst some injuries cannot be prevented — whether that be an ankle roll or similar from an accident (they happen to the best of us!), we’re really talking about the ones that are debilitating in the sense of your technical foundations — shoulder, knee, hip, elbow to wrist and they all have something in common.
By learning how to better prepare and establish the ‘right’ foundations, you’re already ahead of ‘The Pack‘ and prepared for the years to come.
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