The third in the series: The Athlete and the Injury . . .
Here are some guidelines for the Sport Specialized Athlete:
Allow for rest and recovery
You must build in recovery days to your training schedule to maximize the benefit of your training as well as reduce risk of injury.
Your training is designed to build specific skills but in doing this the muscles, tendons, and ligaments take stresses that the body is not designed to take. The body needs time to recover and heal from these stresses placed upon them in order to improve your athletic performance.
Take time to condition
Incorporate flexibility, strengthening, agility, and cardiovascular exercises into your training. If you are just playing your sport you will miss out on needed conditioning that will prevent injury and improve your skill!
As you sweat you will need to replenish with water. You should be taking in about one ounce of water per 2/3rds of your body weight, so if you weight 150 pound = 100 oz of water a day. This can change based on how active you are. If you are sweating for more than an hour a day drink more maybe add a sports drinks for the electrolytes you are losing.
- If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated!
- Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink for after competition or a intense workout!
Live your whole life
Remember that sports is one component of you life ~ school, family, friends, relaxation, and fun must all play a role!
Expect overuse problems
When you perform the same types of motions day in and day out those body structures can suffer fatigue and failure. Because you are training at such a high performing, highly skilled level you are prone to injuries that we used to only see in adults. And your growing body presents other challenges as well. Sometime in your athletic career you will have an injury, the important thing to know is how to manage it without creating permanent problems or losing your edge.
Talk to your PT
Your Physical Therapist is the human movement specialist. They will help you with injury prevention strategies, general and sport specific conditioning, and injury rehabilitation. If you do not have a physical therapist you consult and trust, FIND ONE!
Exercise in other ways
Like living your whole life, be active in ways that don’t involve your sport. Take a walk, hike, bike or swim. Play a different sport with friends. The physical demands of soccer are much different than the physical demands of basketball! Providing your body with multiple physical experiences helps to prevent injury and enhances your overall sport performance!
Stay tuned . . . Up Next, the Active Play Athlete!