According to the National Athletic Training Association (NATA), more than half of youth sports injuries are preventable. The same holds true for adult athlete injuries. Whether you are a child/teen athlete or adult athlete, someone who plays sports recreationally, in school, or as a professional, you are at risk for a sports injury. Many injuries occur as a result of muscle weakness and poor body mechanics, including poor execution of jumping, twisting, lunging, and quick lateral movements. The only way to minimize these risks is to learn how to improve the quality of your movement patterns and learn effective injury prevention techniques. These will reduce your or your child's risk of injury and improve athletic strength and performance.
Movement Assessment & Injury Prevention Program Development
At Forward Motion Physical Therapy, we start by performing a baseline assessment of the athlete's muscular movement and identifying any muscular or movement imbalances and deficiencies, including upper and lower body power, lateral movement agility, jumping, pivoting, twisting and lunging movements. Once we determine the baseline, we will design an individualized injury prevention program that focuses on the athlete's coordination, agility, speed, and bodyweight strength as well as knowledge base regarding sports preparedness and recovery techniques. In this program, we teach athletes how to protect themselves from injuries during practice and game times. We also educate parents of young athletes on how to help their children prevent traumatic injuries that can sideline them.
Injury Prevention Training
Athletes will participate in a physical-therapist supervised program that includes such important techniques as warm-up, dynamic stretching specific to sport, agility and plyometric skills, foam rolling, cool down, and static stretching. Athletes will be monitored at all times for movement precision and any movement abnormally will be identified and corrected over the course of the program. We also teach athletes and parents of young athletes how to help prevent overuse injuries, heat-related injuries and concussions, as well as what to do should such injuries occur.
During the training program, athletes are asked to wear athletic apparel, moisture-absorbing socks, and sneakers.
Sports Injuries Are Not Always Physical
In many injury prevention programs, much of the focus is on physical injuries. But, not all injuries are physical. Athletes can also be subject to hazing and other sports-related emotional stress. Anxiety before or during athletic competitions can interfere with an athlete's performance. The best way to start is to help the athlete develop confidence in their form, technique, and athletic ability. A confident athlete plays well and does a better job of handling sports-related emotional stress.
Recent studies have shown increased psychological stressors "slow down the rate of strength recovery from strength training workouts" and inhibit short-term muscular recovery from resistance exercise. When an athlete is tense, it can also hamper coordinated movements required during play and can cause athletes to fall victim to traumatic injuries.
Common sports-related stressors include:
- Getting injured
- Returning from an injury
- Pressures leading up to game day
- Performance anxiety during play
- The opposing team
- Team win/loss statistics
- Problems with sports-related form and/or technique
We help athletes become more confident in their abilities by helping them build and improve on sports-related form and technique as well as their strength, agility and endurance. This helps them get pumped up and thrive in the challenge of competition. Our sessions are not only evidence-based but also fun and engaging, which helps break down mental barriers and reduce performance anxiety. If an athlete gets injured, we help them recover then build back their strength, endurance, agility and sports-related form and technique so they feel comfortable returning to their sport.
Let us help you or your child athlete improve athletic performance and become the best and most confident athlete possible.
Sports Injury Prevention Resources:
- Sports and Play Safety Tips (Safe Kids Worldwide). Tools and additional resources to keep your kids safe from preventable injuries so they can stay active and continue to play the games and the sports they love.
- Preventing Skating/Skateboard Injuries (Safe Kids Worldwide). Tips for how to protect children from injury while bicycling, skateboarding or participating in other wheeled sports.
- Preventing Skating/Skateboard Injuries (PDF) (Safe Kids Worldwide). Download everything you need to know to keep your kids safe while skating or skateboarding.
- Sports safety tips (Safe Kids Worldwide). Includes a sports safety checklist, concussion guide and information about preparticipation physical exams, hydration and more.
- National Action Plan for Sports Safety (PDF) (Youth Sports Safety Alliance). A plan urging schools to adopt safety measures that protect student athletes from injury or illness.
- Sports Injury Prevention Tips (healthychildren.org). Tips on how to prevent physical injuries in young athletes, as well as sports-related emotional stress.
- Injury Prevention Resources (STOP - Sports Injury Trauma and Overuse Prevention). Injury prevention resources for athletes, coaches, healthcare providers and parents. Includes sport-specific tip sheets and injury-specific tip sheets.