The modern high school athlete is more concerned with their 40 yard sprint time, vertical jump, or maximum bench press than actual performance on the field. The data driven culture on performance has driven a bias towards training to the tests. Athletes are fixated on their output rather then their movement quality. Often an athlete will lose perspective on what is of most value to improve their performance on the field. They rely on instantaneous feedback from force-plates or stopwatches and neglect internal cues of alignment, balance, and stability while performing the task at hand. Training with poor design leads to injuries and time off the field of play. The most common injuries we see in high school athletes are low back pain, hip muscle strains, anterior knee pain, and shoulder pain. All injuries that can be prevented.
Athletes and parents often do not want to hear about injury prevention, and would rather the emphasis be on increased sports performance. The reality….they are synonymous. If you train appropriately, you will move with better quality, move faster, and thus improve sport performance. Training based on movement quality will increase squat strength, jump height, and sprint speed with minimal risk. If you train with proper movement patterns, you create a more resilient system which is less prone to injury. Therefore, if you train to build a resilient injury free system you will improve your ability to perform on the field of play. INJURY PREVENTION = SPORTS PERFORMANCE.
So then what does this type of training entail? A resilient body has the capacity to perform basic fundamental movements in all planes of motions and under variable conditions. The basic movements entail rolling, crawling, hinging over, squat, lunging, pushing, and pulling. Variable conditions entail moving in multiple directions, against different resistance (bands, weights), and at different speeds. Every athlete has a different entry point into training with different goals based on their ability. This is where a skilled trainer and physical therapist are of value to help determine dysfunctions and weakness to cater a program specific to needs. Injury prevention training will include common strength building exercises, acting as a cog in the wheel of moving better.
The ideal time to implement a new training program would be 8 to 12 weeks prior to a season or after a season. These basic principles can also be incorporated year round to improve your performance and reduce injury risk. THE GOAL = Train with a purpose. Train to move well. Train to be resilient to injury or overuse.read more