You either know someone who is currently injured, or you are lying on the couch with your feet up, eating chips and drinking soda because you are depressed … you have twisted your knee.
10 February 2012 | SEAN VAN STADEN
The really unlucky ones have to hobble around with a cast on for months.
Why did you get that injury? Why are youth injuries on the increase in sport, and is their some Holy Grail method or formula that can guarantee that you do not get injured again?
As much as I want to present that light bulb moment for you, unfortunately there are no guarantees in life and in sport. I believe “niggles and pain” come about as a gentle reminder from our bodies that it is not happy with the current training or set-up.
Injuries occur when we have failed to listen to our bodies, and the messages it was sending us. Yes, there is an exception to every rule and don’t go on a witch hunt about my statement.
However, listen up. Before we even think of Doomsday injury, I will tell you this, there is a formula!
A formula that can not only prevent the likelihood of injury but can help improve your game tenfold as well.
Here are three ways to prevent injury, and catch the next three preventative tools in my next edition in a fortnight:
GET A SPORT SCIENCE ASSESSMENT
The most important aspect to injury prevention is in knowing which areas are weak.
Even though Bulls captain Pierre Spies is built like a tank, I guarantee he gets regularly assessed to see which areas are weaker and can be improved.
The mere fact that sprinter Usain Bolt is training harder means that he believes there is room for improvement in breaking his 100m world record, again!
Know the areas in which your performance needs improvement and this will limit the possibility of that weakness causing an injury.
Pre-habitation is slang for preventative rehabilitation or simply, exercises that aid in preventing you from future injury.
Athletes are so focused on growing bigger muscles that they often neglect the smaller supporting ones. Footballers have common hamstring and groin strains due to lack of eccentric training according to Platinum Stars FC Biokineticist Ryan Pretorius.
One of Ryan’s best preventative exercises is having an athlete kneel down on both legs, chest tall and out, chin up.
Get a team-mate to hold your ankles tight while you move your body forward towards the ground. When you reach a point where your body feels it can’t anymore, then pull back to the starting position.
This is an incredibly powerful preventative exercise that can be done post warm up.
Think of core not as your six pack but rather the foundation that links your lower and upper body together.
Having a weak core can increase the chances of injury because the foundation that supports the frame of your body is not stable.
Not having a stable body when going into a tackle could mean that your opponents’ collision forces might be greater than yours and possible injury could occur.
Athletes come to me every day and ask, “Please coach, make me faster, make me better”. The first area we address is the core because as much as they want a double story mansion, we don’t build anything on a poor or unstable foundation.
Building a big house is easy, keeping it standing up is an art. Your body is no different. Most injuries or the severity of injuries can be prevented or decreased, provided you have the correct formula.
Add these preventative measures in your training and feel the difference to your game.
Sean is a sports scientist and director of Advanced Sports Performance.
Catch his column in The Citizen every fortnight.
Follow him on Twitter SeanVStaden, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org