Friday, February 01, 2013

Injuries in Sport

    Throughout your child’s sporting career, there are going to be incidences of injuries. This should be expected and as they reach higher levels of play and practices. Components such as pre/ in season & post season training, stretching, nutrition, hydration, sleep, rehabilitation & managing burn out are all going to be key proactive measures that can minimize the time on the sidelines or dealing with physiotherapists.

 Instead of addressing this after the injured, the above should be a proactive conversation with your child before injury occurs.

  • These are all factors that contribute to an injury free performance  
  • Chances are, in sport, at some point you will be injured. 
  • If/when you do get injured we’re going to talk about these things and together decide which ones we think contributed so we can limit the likelihood of them recurring.
  • This way, the responsibility is being shared with the athlete rather than being assumed by the parent (and meaning little to the athlete)

Proactive Injury Management

  1. Pre/in/post season training. With proper coaching, programming and guidance at higher levels is effective injury management. 
  1. Stretching is a great habit to develop early. ex: many teams are signing up for team yoga and seeing the benefits to stability & mobility.  
  1. Nutrition & hydration are KEY influencers of injury management as we’ve already spoken about. 
  1. Sleep is essential to optimal performance & injury management. 8hrs min / 10hrs max.
  1. Rehabilitation. We’re almost at the age where ‘suck it up’ needs to be shelved. Getting a proper diagnosis & exercises can be the difference between being out for 2 days or 2 months. 
  1. Proper Warm Ups and Prep Movements: Essential to the activity or sport at hand. The days of lying on your back and static stretching are over. Movement prep for sport is essential.

Burn out.

Many of our children are in multiple sports at the same time. This can lead to stress (trying to fit them all in) and burn out (if we can fit them all in)

We need to be both conscious & realistic about our children’s capacity to handle the volume of activities as well as see when they’re doing too much.

    • Disengagement – they don’t really care
    • Not passionate  - they are not as excited
    • Lack luster effort – they’ve given up.
    • Resentment to going to ‘another thing’
    • Fatigue – they are chronically tired.

There is value in taking a day / practice / time off when your child reaches this level. Most coaches will appreciate it provided it’s communicated in advance, cleared with them AND your child still makes the effort to show up and take notes on the mental aspects of what’s being taught.

As they get older this will be the expectation, regardless of whether your sick or injured; they show up for games & practices as part of the team. Communicating this message to them now, is a good start.

A Message to the Players/Children

When you are in practice or at a group training class, please adhere to the following:

Let’s listen to your bodies. Pain and discomfort are completely different things. If something is not right or really hurts, tell your parents/coaches. Deal with it directly. I played football for years, played through broken fingers and separated shoulders. Never told anyone. It was an unwritten rule back then that you should suck it up. Problem is, I’m 37 years old now and still dealing with issues that I could have addressed back then.

Make a conscious effort to do all exercises properly. Proper form, a good attitude, and working towards a goal. Doing the exercise correctly now, at a young age, will excel you forward quickly and enhance your performance. Bad form will hinder performance and can lead to injury.

Speak to your parents about the info provide above. Your coaches and trainers are also there to help. They don’t get paid big bucks to do what they do. They do it because they love it. Believe me; it would be way nicer to sleep in each day then taking your kid to 5am hockey practice at the rink. We do it because we love it and want to see our kids excel and also to…

Have fun. If you are not having fun in what you are doing then you need to make a change. Sport teaches you so much: Discipline, overcoming obstacles, providing challenges, team work, and commrodery. I can go on and on. But bottom line is you got to be enjoying it.

 Casey Souter 
Innovative Fitness Sport Training 

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