November 08, 2018
5 Ways To Get Ready For School Sports
- Maintain or get in shape. If your head coach or strength and conditioning coach has a preseason or off season workout program, do it. Follow along the program and modify based on your general conditioning or injury status to start. Then make sure to write down your exercise plan and schedule. Schedule specific workout times during the week to help you stick with it. Keep a log to write down how long you work out and what activity you did such as cardio, lifting, etc.
- Check your gear if you know what you need to supply yourself. Ask your coach if you’re not sure what you need. If you are wearing a helmet, make sure that it is certified for your sport and that it has been checked for proper fit. Most sports require wearing a mouth guard that will reduce the incidence of concussion in addition to the use of a helmet.
- Consider a sports camp in the off season. Sports camps can offer both new and experienced player an opportunity to brush up on skills before the season begins allowing the player to be ready for game time when the season rolls around. Most camps will include drill sessions, conditioning and then scrimmages toward the end of the day. Drill work helps improve skills, conditioning will assist in maintaining and improving fitness levels while scrimmaging with other attendees of the camp lets you apply those skills in real-game situations.
Just make sure to take 2 days off per week from any single sport and 1 day off per week from all organized sports. Also, take at least 2 months off each year from any particular sport, otherwise you’re at a higher risk for an over-training or overuse injury.
- See your doctor and physical therapist. Your school or team will probably require a sports physical before allowing you to participate. Ask your parents to set one up early as all players who participate in school sports will be required to have one prior to the school year and there are a lot of athletes who will wait until the last minute to get in causing undue stress. If you wear glasses, consider visiting your eye doctor to check your prescription. As far as your physical therapist visit, a functional movement assessment in the off season will help identify any areas that require more focus to assist in the prevention of injury during the season.
- Set realistic goals. Before your season starts, consider setting a few goals (write them down), such as improving a specific skill like dribbling or passing the ball. Keep your goals in a place so that you can see them regularly and discuss them with your coach as well as your parents so they can support you and cheer you on. Having goals can be a great motivator and allows you to see how you improve throughout the season.
Written By: Phil Cadman, PT, DPT