Importance of Pre-Season Training and Injury Assessment

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whatever sport you are competitively engaged in, be it football, rugby, golf, netball, hockey or gymnastics, pre-season training and injury assessment is essential in your preparations for the next season.

You will need to be at peak fitness for the season ahead, as you become involved in ongoing competitions. Pre-season training allows you to build solid fitness foundations, improve your technical ability, and ultimately ensure optimum performance.

After a break and body recharge following last season, your body will need to regain its fitness to ensure you’re ready for the season ahead, without slow starts and to prevent injuries.

Here we look at the importance of pre-season training and ensuring your body is ready for the forthcoming season.


Prepare your body for demanding games and competitions

If you weren’t to engage in pre-season training, it would be like running a marathon after having not run at all for the past three months. Your body wouldn’t be properly conditioned, the run would feel harder than ever, and it would be difficult to finish.

This is the same in any sport. Your body needs to be fully prepared for the physical demands of competitive sport. For example, being able to run that extra yard during a football game could be the difference between winning and losing.


Strength and flexibility training helps to prevent injury

A pre-season training programme will encompass strength and flexibility training.
- Strength training will build muscle strength and improve your overall fitness. 
- Flexibility training will allow your joints to move through a full range of motion and improve your physical performance. These body conditioning exercises also help to prevent future injury.

Initially this period allows for general preparation of your whole body whilst not focussing on sport-specific skills to acquire a base level of fitness, regain the strength your sport demands, and to build cardiovascular endurance.


Time to improve your technical ability

Pre-season training allows you time to spend working on your weaknesses, increasing your tactical skills, and improving your technical ability. For example, in football you may practice drills including ball control, heading, dribbling, passing and shooting. If you’re a floor gymnast you will practice the technique of your rolls, cartwheels and handstands within a routine to perfect them.

This work is performed within the boundaries of your physical ability. You can fine-tune your training and work towards specific goals.


Early diagnosis of sports injuries may prevent further or permanent damage

Athletes often think they can play through their pain and ignore the signs of injury. Pain is produced by the body to let you know something is wrong. It can either be acute (short-lived) or chronic (long term pain). Ignoring these pain signals can result in:

  • Escalating the damage to muscles, joints and tendons
  • Moving from an easily treatable injury to a chronic condition that could lead to permanent damage.

If you’ve got a niggling injury that was bothering you last season and has been troubling you during your pre-season training, then it’s time to seek professional advice. You can speak to your GP or a physiotherapist for an assessment and advice, they can refer you on to an orthopaedic specialist if needed.

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