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Ideas for Athletes & Coaches Preparing for Real Competition


It’s a tough break if you have to take a break from the sport you love, more so if you’re sidelined by injury and are not in prime condition to get back into the game. People who love sports know that they’re addictive – it’s not just the adrenaline rush of winning a game, the entire experience lifts both your body and mind.

So when you have to give it up for some reason or the other, albeit temporarily, you’re raring for the chance to get back to the playing arena. But you have to remember – it’s not just enough to be high on enthusiasm, you have to be high on cautiousness as well. So if you’re thinking of getting back to playing a sport, here’s how to go about it the safe and most effective way:

  • Get permission from your healthcare provider : If you’ve stopped playing because of an injury or any other medical condition, check with your doctor if you’re cleared to play again. You must be capable of strenuous activity again if you plan to return to a sport at any level, so ensure that you’re physically up to it.
  • Take it slow : You may be raring to go, but if you want to prevent injuring yourself again, you must take it slow. Remember this - if you’re put out of action again, it’s harder to come back, both physically and mentally. So think long term and find ways to get back into the game slowly rather than bulldozing your way through.
  • Work on conditioning your body first : Your overall fitness level is very important when it comes to playing a sport, and because you’ve been out of action for a while, your stamina and strength are not what they used to be. So before you step onto the court or field, start working on your fitness and endurance with a combination of cardio and strength training exercises. Your muscles must be strong enough to prevent spills that could cause further injuries.
  • Do sports-specific training : When you’ve been away from a sport for a while, your skills need to be dusted and polished. So get to work on the footwork and other workout drills that are specific to the sport you play. When you get your basics right, you find that the rest of your game naturally follows, and before you know it, you find that you’ve naturally eased back into the game.
  • Don’t get too competitive : And finally, you must resist the competitive urge because it could end up pushing you to do more than you’re ready for. When you know your game is not as good as it used to be, you have to give yourself time to get there slowly and steadily, especially if you’re recovering from an injury. So no matter how good your partners’ or opponents’ game is, don’t try to do too much at once when you’re bitten by the competitive bug. If you don’t proceed with caution, you could end up with a more serious injury.

This guest post is contributed by Sandra McAubre, she writes on the topic of Sports Management Degrees . She welcomes your comments at her email: sandra1.mcaubre(at)gmail.com.

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Category : Sport-General / Sports Injury


James September 10, 2010

I love this post because I am a personal trainer and a gym owner and I see people all the time try and go back to a sport like skiing or tennis that they haven’t played in quite some time and they get injured. When we’re young our bodies easily get back into the flow of high impact sports like tennis and skiing, but when we are older we have to prepare for these activities. Your list was right on to check with your doctor first, to take it slow, do conditioning and then some sport specific training at the gym and then don’t start competing until you are ready to. Great blog for people trying to get back into competition.

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