Preseason prep to get you game ready

By: Jason Rudolph, MD   August 3, 2016

Off season workouts are over, and we are about to enter the fall sports preseason.  At this point, hopefully, all of our Lehigh Valley athletes have been training all summer, so conditioning should not be an issue.  The problems that we see in the preseason are usually the result of overuse injuries.  Even if you have been running and training in the preseason for your sport, overuse injuries are extremely common in the preseason.  Changing from training in running shoes to four hour practices in cleats, leads to much different forces across the knees, legs, ankles and feet.  Unfortunately, these new forces can lead to shin splints, tendonitis, and possibly stress fractures

Another issue to worry about in these late days of summer is dehydration.  Most coaches today realize that the “old school” thinking, that limiting water breaks makes for tougher athletes is completely wrong.  All of our Coordinated Health trainers realize the importance of hydrating before, during and after practice.  If you waited in practice to get thirsty, you waited too long. 

So, how do we get our athletes through the preseason, healthy and ready for the games ahead?  Number one: listen to your coaches.  Coaches in all sports are trained on the safest way to perform your sport (tackle with your head up in football, no high sticking in field hockey, no slide tackles at the legs in soccer, etc.).  Number two: listen to your trainers.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Number three: listen to your body.  If it hurts, report in to your trainer.  Chances are it is a mild injury.  We just don’t want mild injuries in the preseason to become major injuries that can lead to lost time during the season.

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