As all of the football codes are wrapping up for the year, attention turns to off-season planning. Here are some recommendations for athletes to optimise their time off:
1. REST AND RECOVER
· Make sure you utilise this initial phase to let your muscles, tendons etc recover from the intensity of the season.
· Alternative light intensity activities are good options such as swimming, walking, bike riding.
· Enjoy time with friends and family, try new hobbies and activities.
· Reflect on the season and set some goals for the next year.
2. STRENGTH DRILLS
· The off-season is a great opportunity to get in the gym and work on improving strength, power and movement quality for enhanced performance next season.
· This strength program can be sport-specific and based around your goals. For example, if you wish to improve your speed off the mark then including exercises that focus on glut strength and power will be useful. Senior Physiotherapist, Jess Norton, can help you design and implement a program based on your available equipment and resources (at home or the gym).
· Take the opportunity to prevent any injuries or ensure a full recovery from any this season. For example, if you experienced lower back soreness or a stress fracture this season, it will be important to be working on improving the strength and mobility around the area and any contributing factors to ensure your risk is lower in the coming year.
3. CONDITIONING WORK
· Preseason can be tough, so make sure to start building your aerobic capacity with some running, swimming or higher intensity gym work so you are ready. Spikes in load can increase your injury risk so make sure you gradually build and transition back into field-based training.
· Load management is a complex topic, particularly when athletes are juggling multiple team and training commitments. If you would like advice on load management to maximise your performance but minimise your injury risk, Senior Physiotherapist Jess Norton can work with you and provide recommendations on how to structure your training schedule (field/gym/other) plus other important factors.
Jess Norton | B.Phty, B.ExSc
Senior Physiotherapist | Physiologic