It is that time of year again when fall sports are back in full swing, school work starts to pile up, and other stress from life can start to add up. Consequently, that can lead to pain or injuries whether it be acute or chronic. Once athletes transition from the off-season into preseason, and then preseason into the regular season some things can get forgotten in the mix. It can become easy to slack off on the good habits and routines that prepared the athlete up to that point due to lack of time or even just losing focus. Here are a few things that can be done to make sure progress is not lost, and the hard work up to that point does not result in pain or injuries that could lead to missed playing time.
1. Don’t sacrifice sleep! It can become easy to cut off an hour or two of sleep per night in response to homework/extra-curricular activities/television or anything else. Losing sleep will negatively impact every other area of our lives. Try and get at least 7 – 9 hours per night and always keep that a top priority.
2. Rest and recovery. Most team or individual sports practice multiple hours per day and have at least one or two games per week. This physical toll adds up over time. With the additional stress of life added on top of that it is important to rest whenever possible. Foam rolling and stretching can also be done every day and don’t require a huge commitment of time or money.
3. Maintain strength. Strength training can take a back seat sometimes in-season to focus more on the sport itself. Although this is understandable, if the strength that was gained in the offseason can be maintained in-season or maybe even slightly improved during the season it can definitely reduce the likelihood of getting hurt. Studies have shown that even just doing one heavy set can maintain strength, so minimal time and effort can go a long way in that regard.