School is back in session for some and starting up soon for others, and that also means that the fall sports season is also starting back up for high schoolers all over Minnesota. If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of high school athletes who will be competing this fall, you should consider gearing up for the season before it begins to give yourself a leg up on the competition. In today’s blog we share some tips on how you can get ready for the upcoming fall sports season.
Preparing For Your Fall Sports Season
If you want to give yourself the best chance of earning a starting spot or being the best teammate you can be, consider these tips for preparing for your fall sports season.
- Gradual Return To Sports Activities – You want to slowly ease back into sporting activities, and oftentimes that means doing some light to moderate sports-specific training in the weeks leading up to the start of the season. If you haven’t been training and then two-a-day practices in the September heat start up, you may find that you aren’t conditioned for this kind of activity, and that can increase your risk of an injury. Slowly take on more physical challenges in the days and weeks leading up to the start of your sports season.
- Hydrate And Heat Avoidance – Your muscles work best when they are properly hydrated, so make sure that you drink plenty of water to replace fluids that are lost to sweat. You may also want to avoid training at the hottest time of the day, which is usually between noon and 3pm. Be smart about avoiding the hottest part of the day and staying hydrated when you’re active.
- Consider Offseason Training With A PT – As we mentioned in a blog post last week, if you really want to step up your game, consider working with a physical therapist or athletic trainer during the offseason. They can design an individualized offseason training program that develops specific muscle groups without putting your body at risk of overuse injuries. Lean on their expertise in the offseason and during the leadup to your sports season.
- Don’t Overdo It – This goes hand in hand with the first point about gradually ramping up your workload, but also be sure that you don’t push yourself too hard as you prepare for the new season. You want to be physically peaking during the middle or later portions of your season during conference play or playoffs, but if you overdo it before the season starts, your body can be worn down and fatigued when you need it most. It’s a delicate balance that’s not always easy to find, which again speaks to the importance of connecting with a PT or trainer to ensure your fitness remains on a healthy progression all season.
- Stretch – Finally, don’t forget to stretch both before and after physical activity. This helps your muscles prepare for the stress ahead and recover after the shock of exercise, and it helps to reduce your risk of strains or sprains. Make it a point to take a few minutes before each training session, practice or game to stretch your body so it can handle the strain you’re about to put it under.
For more tips on how you can prepare for the upcoming fall sports season, or if you need help overcoming a new or chronic injury, reach out to the talented team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.