Hands-down, my favorite team pre-season is soccer. It’s not so much that I love the sport of soccer, rather, I simply love the time of year. Pre-season for fall sports signal the end of summer and the ushering in of cooler weather, plus I get to spend a whole bunch of time outside – which I savor!
Yesterday preseason officially kicked-off. We ran the ever classic Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test and finished up with more fitness testing this morning. The first two-weeks are always, in my opinion, extremely high-risk for season-ending injuries. So, I just wanted to talk briefly about this risk and what you can do to dodge this injury bullet yourself:
- If your sport takes place on a field, court, course, or in a pool DO NOT spend all summer running long-distance thinking this will “keep you in shape.” If you’re on the cross country team, then you’re cool… everyone else, you’re setting yourself up for injury. Every sport that is NOT long-distance running requires other VERY IMPORTANT and very SPECIFIC strength and conditioning methods. If you play lacrosse or basketball or soccer, consider how much cutting, backpedaling, shuffling, and sprinting is involved… it’s a lot, right? Doesn’t it make sense to do some of that type of work?
- Acclimate yourself to training temperatures and times of day BEFORE preseason starts. This is simple, find out what time of day your team will be training and get out to do your training during those same times of day. That way you’re not the poor freshman who gets dizzy and has to sit down after the first series of drills.
- As a side note, this works for the cold months, too. Lacrosse, baseball, and softball – get outside in the middle of December and January to begin acclimating to the weather you’ll face in February.
- Another side note, if you play basketball or volleyball, train in the heat and cold, too. It will only make the indoor training feel that much easier.
- For the love of… FOLLOW THE TRAINING PLAN YOUR COACHES HAVE PROVIDED. We don’t put this stuff together for our health, it’s actually going to help you be better!
I’m happy to report that my group is doing pretty darn well right now, but the last two days jogged my memory on some tips for a more successful preseason that will hopefully be injury free!