Foundations of Preparation for the Athlete
Even my calluses have blisters!The dog days of summer have my dogs barking in my shoes. I thought my “wheels” were fully inflated, but with these “three-a-day” practices I need my tires changed and balanced with a realignment.
Sharp increases in volume of sport participation or exercise intensity; combined especially with the lack of sleep, poor diet or dehydration may lead to inflammatory conditions, strains or more serious injuries taking the fun out of the fundamentals of sports and exercise.
Preparation with any endeavor, including sports and exercise, is an essential foundation often overlooked. Getting an expert to tailor a strength and conditioning program will give you an edge with both upgrading performance and preventing injury. This process starts with an evaluation that needs to include functional body mechanics. Only after an understanding of which muscle groups or joints are weak or unstable and conversely which ones are stiff or tight along with which sports movement patterns are less than mature or optimal, may a program that will maximize your time and results be effectively designed. Research has clearly demonstrated a specificity to practice and conditioning necessitating the professional designing your program needs to have an intimate understanding of the skills and demands of the activity you wish to safely improve.
Ideally, the program should be periodized over months but practically this happens most often at the more elite levels when trying to peak performance at a certain phase of the year. One of the periods in most programs is rest, but this rest sometimes includes “active rest” to speed recovery and if carefully planned by the professional can include cross training which will enhance confidence and motor success as well.
Lower body pain in children and adolescence is usually related to the growth plate of the bone, especially when growth has been recently rapid. A component of these pain syndromes, however, is that the muscles during these phases usually lag behind the bones and become in comparison, tight and weak.
Education in body awareness and self treatment is the keystone to most successful treatment of painful conditions. Massage, body work, taping and therapeutic electrical stimulation also have a place in controlling pain and facilitating return to full and active lifestyles for our children.