It’s natural for athletes to be excited to get back into the swing of their sport after what seems like a long offseason. However, trying to do too much too quickly can lead to serious injury, which is why preseason conditioning is so important. It helps build a strong fitness foundation and helps prevent injury later on in the season.
Preseason conditioning allows athletes to gradually get their bodies accustomed to the physical workload their sport demands of them. For many sports, athletes begin preseason conditioning by hitting the gym to increase overall body strength and stamina through weightlifting and cardio. Emphasis should first be placed on maintaining proper technique and form while utilizing light weights (or just body weight) and simple movements before advancing to heavier weights and more complex movements.
One way to enhance injury prevention through strength training is to focus on the muscles surrounding certain joints that may be at risk for that sport. Sports that involve overhead movements like swimming, softball, and baseball put the shoulder at risk for injury. Sports that involve running or jumping like soccer, football, track and field, and basketball put the knees and ankles at risk for injury. Focusing on strengthening the muscles that support those joints can significantly reduce traumatic injuries and overuse injuries.
Preseason conditioning also allows athletes time to get accustomed to the environment they will be practicing and competing in. The South Georgia heat is no joke, and jumping into 100-degree weather right out the gate is dangerous, especially for athletes exerting a lot of energy during practice. Athletes should avoid working out during the hottest part of the day, take frequent breaks, and hydrate throughout workouts and practices.
Having an Athletic Trainer on site during preseason practices ensures athletes stay healthy and safe while they get in shape for the season. They can even work directly with coaches to create individual training regimens for athletes who may be prone to or recovering from injury.
Want more information? Contact the Vereen Center today.