February 1st, 2013

Health N

Staff Report

Health N
from www.huntersvilleherald.com

How to Prepare: Pre-Season Conditioning


As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.


On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.


Article by: Tom Mooney, P.T. and Grade School Football Coach with Comments by Holy Cross High School Football Coach Todd Crumbacker and St. Xavier High School Assistant Football Coach Todd Walsh.


It’s that time of the year and football season is winding down. College football has completed its bowl games and the Super Bowl is nearly upon us. High School and youth football are long over, but the planning and preparation for the next season is already in full swing.


Coaching Prep Work

The coaches on our staff, like many others, have been meeting monthly since November and will meet twice a month starting in February. We go over rosters for the coming year, offensive-defensive schemes, what worked and what didn’t work in the previous season. We will be going out to the schools with flyers for sign-ups and to coaching camps for ourselves to pick-up on the latest teaching tools and techniques. Summer camps and 7 on 7 tourneys will be scheduled before the official start of preseason conditioning in June/July.


Player Preparation

Players also should be preparing for the upcoming season. Those athletes that do not participate in winter sports should be involved in a pre-season conditioning program. Conditioning programs should be supervised by a coach, athletic trainer, or the physical therapist associated with your school. Programs should consist of strength training, flexibility, agility, running, jumping, and balance/proprioceptive activities.

Comment by Crumbacker: We stress to our players the importance of flexibility. Many young athletes overlook this component of fitness; however, flexibility is a key ingredient to increasing speed and helping to prevent injuries. In addition, we stress the importance of hydration. We also teach our kids proper techniques that they need to execute in order to stay safe. Concussions have been increasing in recent years and teaching proper techniques is one way to help decrease the number of concussions occurring. I believe if players wear the necessary equipment that is issued by the high school that safety will not be an issue. However, this equipment must be up-to-date and meet certification of the KHSAA. To give you an example: I coached a young man a couple years ago who purchased his own helmet as a senior. He had not had any concussions in his first 3 years wearing the helmet I issued him. He suffered 3 concussions his senior season with his $300 helmet. Maybe it was coincidence; but maybe it wasn’t. But, to answer the question, equipment safety must be a priority for all coaches and players.

Comment by Walsh: One thing we tell our players is to stay hydrated.  Do not put your body under any more stress. We stress to them to stretch more and work on their flexibility along with staying hydrated.  This is a part of our daily practice routine.  In the offseason, it is a part of our lifting/conditioning routines. Never over do it.  Push it, but know your limits. We as coaches are in control of this most of the time during the season or offseason in high school.


Educate and Strength Train To Prevent Injury

Strength training can improve sports performance in the young athlete. Since kids are at risk for repetitive injury and physical overuse, body strengthening and education on how to land from a jump or rebound to properly cut on the field, etc. can prevent injuries. Use different modes of strength training such as weights, elastic bands, medicine balls, and heavy ropes. Make the activities fun, such as tug of war, races while pulling weighted sleds, and one of my favorites, using a full size tractor tire being pushed back and forth between 2 players. Don’t forget plyometrics, which involve jump lunges, tuck jumps, single leg hops, and jump squats.

Comment by Crumbacker: In addition to implementing a great flexibility routine, I believe football players should focus on building neck strength as well. It seems neck injuries are becoming more and more of an occurrence amongst young football players. Therefore, building strength in this area is a must. Players can focus on building the trapezius muscles around the neck; in addition, performing resistance exercises with a towel and a partner will help build this neck strength as well.

In terms of drills, I like to perform drills with students that last approximately 4-6 seconds; this is the approximate time that a football play will last. Therefore, I want to train my team to go all out for this period of time. Drills that focus on explosive forward movement, lateral movement, hip rotation, cut-backs, and back pedaling. I believe a great drill will focus on a combination of these emphases.

Comment by Walsh: Safety is our first priority.  Making sure every player is properly equipped is the responsibility of the coaches involved.  If not, injuries could occur that could have been prevented. (Students should consider:) What do I need to work on to get better?  Speed? Strength?  Gain weight?  Lose weight?


Movement Intelligence


All of these activities will prep the athlete for the coming season. We would have hoped to encourage some “muscle memory”, sometimes known as movement intelligence (MI). MI is when all the parts of the body learn to coordinate movement together in the most efficient and effective way. With proper training, this state is achieved with no conscious thought. Muscles involved with these movements become more inherently and instinctually conditioned to react quicker and properly, resulting in increased ability and reduced risk of injury.

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Do you have a question or health issue that you would like a Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic Physical Therapist to answer? Please email your questions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.


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