Managing Injury Risk upon Returning to Play

As the Coronavirus keeps our country at home for several months, our kids aren’t able to play their Spring sports, they aren’t able to workout in the off-season with their teammates and coaches, and most don’t have access to the exercise equipment they’d normally be using.

When all of this is over, just like there’s a gradual “re-opening” plan for most states to ease us all back into normal life, there needs to be a “re-building” phase for our kid’s strength, athleticism, and general fitness as well. As much as Drake can go from 0 to 100 real quick, we shouldn’t do that with our athletes.

In order to manage a kid’s risk for injury and keep that risk low, we have to appropriately dose and prescribe exercises and weights that may seem too easy for the first several weeks. These kids are going from either bodyweight exercises at home or being quite sedentary for 2+ months, to finally being able to use added resistance with dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells again.

We can’t make the assumption that these kids can pick up their old working weights and rep them out like they used to. Some kids may be well equipped to handle that, though many may not be. What we can assume, is that most great programs start too easy and allow for at least a few weeks of improvement —whether it’s increasing the weight slowly over time, improvement on form or depth, better control under the load, or slowly progressing the programmed movement to more advanced variations.

If we want our kids to be great athletes as they ease back into sports practice, tournaments, and competitions, we need to prioritize their overall health, understand that good things take time to build back, and be patient with the making progress, as they’ve undergone drastic changes in their lives.