iPhone. iPad. Xbox. Couch.
Kickball. Relay Races. 4H Camp. Neighborhood Hide N’ Seek before the streetlights come on.
It’s quite possible that if you were born before the year 2000, your summer vacation consisted primarily of the second list of activities. Nowadays, summer vacations can look a little different for kids as various technologies are at our fingertips. If you’re a student athlete who participates in sports year-round, you might maintain a higher level of physical activity. Overall, though the general lack of physical activity that spans the two to three-month period in the summer means fitness levels decrease significantly and therefore, the return to fall sports is more difficult. It’s even more reason why proper preparation is key.
There are four seasons to consider when looking at an appropriate training program:
- The off-season is used to re-introduce the physical demands placed on the body with general physical activity, as well as to develop cardio-respiratory fitness. During this time, the athlete should be focusing on light weights and increased duration of workouts to slowly increase their endurance, while not fully neglecting their strength training program.
- Next in line is preseason, which is when the athlete focuses primarily on increasing their intensity, maintaining their endurance, and incorporating multiple types of training. Multiple types of training include but are not limited to strength training, balance training, plyometric training, and agility work.
- Up next is the competitive season, also known as in-season. During the competitive season, the training program becomes less about intensity and more about functional fixes to better personal weaknesses and maintain strength.
- Finally, is the post-season, which most people overlook. Active rest allows the body recovery time from the previous competitive season. The first two weeks after a competitive season should be complete rest. The post season should allow for ample time to rehabilitate any injuries, improve strength of weakened muscle groups, and mental recovery.
When athletes do not follow the guidelines for preparing for the upcoming season, they are significantly increasing their chances of injury during the season. According to the Nationwide Childrens’ Hospital, 50% of injuries sustained by younger athletes playing organized sports can be avoided if the athlete was properly conditioned to play their game. Now, if an athlete chooses to participate in multiple sports throughout the year, they are more likely to maintain a general level of physical fitness as well as decrease their chances of injury during the season. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), specialized athletes are twice as likely to sustain a gradual onset/repetitive-use injury as athletes who did not specialize.
At Pain & Movement Solutions, we have developed our Sports SOLUTIONS program to keep our local athletes at the top of their game and healthy during their season. Each high school athlete is eligible to receive:
- 1 free Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement Screen and
- 2 Free Sports SOLUTIONS treatment visits during the 2020-2021 athletic season
Call the clinic at 605-723-0185 to set up your appointment. Physical Therapists are your most skilled conservative healthcare providers who understand your sport and the body’s biomechanical demands of play. Our specialized clinicians are here to return you to your maximum potential as quickly as possible, while minimizing the risk of injury.
About Pain & Movement Solutions
Pain & Movement Solutions is an outpatient physical therapy private practice in Belle Fourche, serving the community since 2012. Their staff works diligently to be the best option for all your musculoskeletal pains and movement problems. No referral needed for most care. How we live is based on how we move. Find more information about how Pain & Movement Solutions is optimizing movement to improve the human experience at www.painandmovementsolutions.com.
Resource: Cierra Washington, ATC