Minimise in-season injuries

19th June 2023


While some injuries can be unavoidable, training for injury prevention is often neglected in local-level sports. It is important to remember that genetics, anatomy, previous injury history, and the nature of contact sports are non-modifiable factors that can contribute to injury. However, there are many modifiable factors to consider when preparing for a season of sport and considering injury risk. Some of these are:


1. Load

You may have heard the term ‘overuse injury’ time and time again in sports-related injuries. Many athletes will fail to meet the appropriate training volume and intensity during off-season and pre-season periods and thus end up with injuries related to a sharp spike or error in workload. Careful consideration of intensity, duration, and frequency with guidance from a trained professional is essential in preparing the body for competition load. The 10% progression rule is a general recommendation across the board - however depending on level of activity and experience in addition to injury history this recommendation can vary. 


2. Sport-specific training

Similar to the topic of load, the term ‘practice makes perfect’ comes to mind here. Ensuring that you train the appropriate skills (eg. jumping/landing, change of direction, tackling, kicking) will help to prepare your body for what it experiences in competition. Simulation of competition environment can be difficult, but partnering up and practicing skills such as reactive agility are essential in making sure your body is prepared for what it experiences in-season. 


3. Targeted strengthening

I often hear recreational athletes voicing difficulty finding the ‘right time’ to strength train during the week between training and game days. This often comes back to load preparation, where you should consider slowly increasing the amount of weekly activity in preparation for when load will be high in-season. A strength training program should be based on the your individual goals and needs, and include evidence-based exercises such as the Nordic Hamstring Curl (well-known for its effects on reducing the incidence of hamstring injuries). Teaming up with a Strength and Conditioning Coach or Personal Trainer in the months leading up to competition season will help to plan out a strategy for including the essential strength training program into your routine, and making sure any lingering injuries are appropriately addressed by a Physiotherapist will be a big part of this. 


Malia Corrigan

APA Physiotherapist, Evado Studios Point Cook