With the fall winding down, we’re now heading further into basketball, hockey, and ski season. Athletes are training – both on and off the ice, the court, and the mountain – to have the best season that they can. They are conditioning themselves to not only become faster and stronger, but to build a body that can sustain their season injury-free.
Of course, if you ask a player when they would consider seeing a physical therapist, the first answer would most likely be, “If I get injured.” They do not consider seeing a physical therapist as a preventative course of action OR as someone who can improve their athletic performance.
Seeing a physical therapist as part of a pre-season (and in season!) training regimen can allow a player to get an evaluation on muscle weaknesses and bodily imbalances. In the event that a problem area is determined, the physical therapist would then review exercises to keep the small weakness or imbalance from becoming a major injury. Sure, most every athlete wants to gain strength and endurance, but a PT can also review flexibility, coordination, and range of motion – all pieces of the human body puzzle that can, in turn, make you healthier overall.
When a player wants to get bigger, stronger, and faster, he or she will no doubt first go to a team strength and conditioning coach, or even a personal trainer at his local gym. Players will not initially consider seeing a PT to improve athletic performance…but they should. As specialists in musculoskeletal care, physical therapists can run orthopedic tests and assessments to expose functional difficulties in seemingly healthy players. The player may feel great otherwise, but things like muscular timing, or weaknesses in the supplemental muscles of larger body parts could be discovered. With a therapy routine, strength and conditioning that complements that of the team, and practiced consistent (and corrected) movements, the player will soon find himself performing at his absolute best.
Preparing for your season? Looking to get to your optimal best? Contact us today or stop in and see us!