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Sports Physiotherapy

Winter Sports Updates, Sports Physiotherapy O’Connor (Fremantle area)

Winter Sports

Winter sports season has begun!

At Next Wave, Zac has become buried under the demands of winter team sports.

Most people seemed to make it through pre-season without a hiccup. But those weekend warriors who may have opted out of the pre-season fun, have unfortunately begun to fall to the typical soft tissue injuries we so commonly see at this time of year!

In a personal capacity Zac has been through a whirlwind also! His own hockey team, the Men’s 1’s of the Newman Knights hockey club, have begun the season with a singular loss. Zac’s coaching career is also taking off. Currently coaching the UWA Women’s 2’s team, Zac has found success, having not dropped a game through 5 rounds.

In some very exciting news, Zac has been on placement at the National Men’s hockey team, the Kookaburras! There have been multiple early morning turf sessions before the sun, and many gym sessions after the sun. But Zac is soaking in the experience and adding to his physio toolkit.

Self-Screening Tool of Calf Readiness for Sport

The calves are so important for sport. Particularly in any running sport! They are amongst the hardest working muscles in the leg and serve as one of the prime muscles for propulsion in jogging, sprinting, and jumping.

You can complete self-screening test to get a quick gauge on whether your calves are up to the demands of sport. This test is VERY HIGHLY recommended by Zac for all sports persons over the age of 30 years.

Calf readiness for Sport Self-Screening Test

  1. Stand on the edge of a step with one leg, while keeping the other leg in the air.

  2. Slowly move up and down on your toes.

  3. Complete as many calf raises as you can on each leg.

It is very important that you do not use your hands to help lift yourself up or grip onto something for support. Instead place open fingers against a wall for a bit of balance.

If you are unable to perform 25 single leg calf raises on each leg, then the current literature would suggest that you are more at risk of experiencing an ankle or calf injury. Not only that, but there are findings that would suggest you may be more likely to develop a stress fracture in your foot or shin if you have a ‘suboptimal’ single leg calf raise capacity.

 Athletic Development Drill

Effective stopping or breaking, when playing sport, is commonly overlooked at the recreational or club sporting level. Current research shows that athletes become more pre-disposed to injuries such as ACL ruptures, if they demonstrate poor ability to absorb force and break effectively.

The underlying base for breaking is muscular strength. By getting strong you will get better at breaking. However, that is only half the story. Effective breaking and force absorption is a multi-joint coordinative effort. As such we can complete drills to improve our ability to break more effectively.

The simplest way to work on breaking is through practicing landing drills.

This can be done in several ways.

  • The most basic is a simple drop off a ledge/box, trying to land with your weight slightly more on the balls of your feet with a slight heel lift. The idea is to land still like a statue! Practice this a handful of times aiming for quality over quantity.

  • From here the next step is to work on jumping as far as you can, and still landing in the same way. This can be progressed in a million different ways. You can land one-legged, you can jump over obstacles and land, you can spin mid air and land.

Practicing a good variety of landings, whilst varying up the intensity you are working at, will be an effective way to improve your breaking ability!

Zac Betts Sports Physiotherapist at Next Wave Therapy is available for individual consultations, exercise rehabilitation, injury management and athletic performance training.

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