Football is back.  And what a wonderful thing that is.  The cold air, the camaraderie and the sheer delight of having a ball back at your feet.

If you are like me (a mad football fan and awesome), the eager anticipation of post games drinks had me thinking about keeping in shape for Preseason – Take 2.

Thoughts of 5km runs, sprint sessions down the park and kicking the ball with your mates (socially distancing of course) crossed my mind.  And for the most part, that is about as far as I got.

So where does that leave us with return to Football training this week?  Preseason is often littered with soft tissue injuries at the best of times, especially at Senior level.  That doesn’t even take into consideration a forced hiatus from most activities, and all the wine consumed during isolation (or maybe that was just me?).

It would be easy to fall into the trap of ‘making up for lost time’ , but here are my 4 best tips for avoiding injuries during our second pre-season.

1. Use the FIFA 11+

Simple resources for this protocol can be found here.  This evidence based warm up has been shown to reduce injuries in Football players by up to 30% (reference found here).   It is easy to teach, and simple to use, and can be done each training session and before games.

2. Leave your pride at the door

The important note here, is not to start where you left off.  A gentle increase in training load over a couple of weeks, instead of rapid escalation is key.   This is PRESEASON – TAKE 2, so treat it as such.

3. Plan appropriate rest days

Failing to plan, is planning to fail.  An oldie, but a goody. Ensure you take suitable rest between training sessions.  Allowing your body to recover, will speed up your fitness gains whilst minimizing injury risk.

4. Strength Training

If you are already doing this thanks to gyms reopening, go you!  Injury prevention and performance improvement are just 2 of the side effects of a solid training program.

Think of Strength as your fuel tank – the larger your tank the greater your capacity.  The greater your capacity, the less likely you are to get injured.  Strength is also the pillar building endurance & power (crucial attributes in Football).  This a nice link that explains this here.

5. Warm up & Warm Down

I feel like this is a given, but a friendly reminder won’t hurt.

Don’t be sidelined again by an avoidable injury.  And if you are, make an appointment online here, and we will get you back to playing in no time.

Written By:

Karen Jamieson – Physiotherapist

Elevate Training Centre