The importance of pre-season is key into staying injury free during the season and remaining competitive for longer periods of time. At TSIC, we can help provide tips and key advice on how to stay injury free this pre-season, while preparing you for the sporting season ahead.
Reflection and Goals:
After a tiring season of sport, there is plenty of opportunity to better yourself for the next event, competition, or season. Introspecting what you did well and what can be improved on is a good way to start. Write your thoughts down on your phone, notebook, or whiteboard or additionally, writing a pros and cons list can also provide better clarity on your performance. This in turn can help with deciphering your goals, whether short term or long term.
SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based) are good way to start in making it clearer on what you want to work on in the season. Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologists at TSIC can help establish SMART goals with you and help you plan for training ahead.
Preventing injuries for in season:
It’s no secret that completing an adequate preseason can help decrease the likelihood of injury during the season. According to load management expert Dr. Tim Gabbett, doing a minimum of 18 weeks of preseason can help athletes in sustaining performances with limited hiccups during the season. A study conducted by the AFL this year showcased the rate of injuries during the season. The statistics showed that most players who had a disrupted preseason (muscular injuries, niggles) lasted until about Round 12-17 before picking up another injury. Additionally, a study conducted by Colby in 2022concluded that during the pre-competition phase of preseason (practice matches etc.) there was an increase in injuries due to the increase demand of intensity. Therefore, making sure that with adequate training there is a period of in game scenarios that will help match that intensity can be beneficial.
The term “no pain no gain” is dished out a lot when exercising. However, sometimes exercising when it is painful can also be a detriment to the body. Making sure that there is adequate rest in between sets or on recovery days is key. Staying well hydrated, eating the right foods (adequate amount of protein and carbohydrate intake), and having a good night’s sleep is essential in proper recovery.
Listening to your body:
We have all heard the term “niggles” before when discussing any physical complaint of the body. A study conducted by Matt Whalan in 2020 looked at injury complaints in semi-professional soccer athletes and whether that led to increase in injuries. He concluded that it was 3-6 times likelier for these athletes to develop their non time length injury (niggles) into time length injury (strains and sprains. Therefore, making sure that you are listening to your body and ensuring that you are allowing it to be used optimally is key.
Here at TSIC, physiotherapists can help with achieving these goals and hopefully planning for an injury free summer to tackle the upcoming season ahead.