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Three Things Athletes Need To Start Doing To Get Ready For Their Sport!

Unfortunately, fall sports may not begin until the spring, and winter sports could be pushed back potentially starting in January. While this and many other things are unknown, what I do know is that if athletes do not begin preparing their bodies for what their season may look like, injuries are a possibility. Athletic related injuries are already growing each year, but this year, there could possibly be an even higher amount unless precautionary measures are taken. 

Below are three things athletes should start doing NOW in order to be prepared for their sports season: 

#1 Strength Train

With strength training comes increasing size, increasing speed, and injury reduction. In my experience, most athletes are lacking in strength which then leads to injuries. Although it is heartbreaking and discouraging that many athletes may be losing their season this year, it may be beneficial for them to take some time away to focus on strength training. Training in the weight room is a time where athletes spend strengthening positions and movements in order to be more successful at their sport. If athletes spend too much time and energy trying to do the basics they will fatigue quicker, weaken earlier, and perform at a lesser level. Therefore, instead of being discouraged about your season being delayed, take this time to gain strength and size, while also working on movements in a controlled manner that will benefit you in your sport. 

#2 Sprint 

Some of the first athletic traits that goes when athletes stop training is speed and power. Athletes need to get outside and sprint in order to maintain their athleticism and to ensure their tissue tolerance in their ankles and achilles’ tendons are prepared for the demands of 90 minutes to two hours of play in their sport. With that being said, athletes need to sprint 2-3x a week in order to maintain their abilities and preparedness in their sport. Sprint work does not mean performing rep after rep so you get slower and slower, causing you to become fatigued; that is called conditioning! When that happens you are no longer working on speed. Take adequate time to rest between sprints and remember what the goal is: SPEED

#3 Skills 

There is a level of specificity that allows for athletes to be successful and healthy on the court or field. I have asked this question a number of times to parents and athletes over these last couple of months, “Have you or your son/daughter laced up your cleats or the shoes you play your sport in all summer?” The answer is “no” more times than not.

While spending time in the weight room is very important, the closer you get to your season the more time you should spend playing your sport. The saying goes: 

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”

If you do not prepare the body for the demands of the sport in a specific manner, then it potentially could be too much shock to the system, muscles, tissues, and joints if the first day you play is for an excessive amount of time. 

Get outside and run, cut, jump with your cleats on and mimic the game. If you typically play on an indoor court and you cannot find one, go to a park, and reenact the movements you would do in a game or in practice. In order to stay healthy, you must get your body ready for the physical stress of your sport. 

Conclusion: 

Without a doubt, this year has been and will continue to be a very difficult one. The best thing we all can do is try our best to maintain our physical fitness not only to be prepared for when sports begin again but to stay healthy. What are you teaching yourself if you just sit back and wait for someone to tell you what to do? Take control of your current situation and start moving!