Stretching for Success!

August 15th 2019

Body maintenance is a concept that is generally under appreciated in youth athletes. Neglecting the off field responsibilities of regenerative stretching is common among players of all levels. To get ahead of the game, players should start to build daily habits of stretching their muscles. The results may not be immediate, but there will be long term benefits as a player goes further in their career. Injury prevention sits at the forefront of reasons of why a player should stretch daily. 

A player should do all they can to ensure that their bodies are appropriately maintained in healthy conditions. The player’s body is the ultimate tool of their playing career and must be treated with an intention to develop and recover. In order to continue playing the game for as long as possible whether it is for enjoyment or competition, the player must take the time to listen to their bodies and do what is needed to recover and prepare. 

The time taken to recover from matches and daily training is as important as the work on the field in training sessions. It is scientifically proven that consistent yoga practice or a routine of simple stretches can lower the risk of repetitive injuries. Yoga and stretching develop balance, flexibility and core strength; all vital components to maintaining healthy standards of daily training. 

Players can benefit from better balance and joint stability, better injury prevention, and enhanced recovery. Stretching reduces the risk of injury by enhancing blood circulation to important parts of the body. Regular practice allows the muscles to speed up healing time and re-generation. Enhanced joint and muscle flexibility results in a drop in the probability to suffer an injury due to overuse.  

Injury prevention should be at the top of a player’s priority list. The less time spent injured directly equates to more time on the field in training and in matches. The commitment towards improvement as a player inevitably extends to the daily life off the field. Good luck in your next training session and don’t forget to stretch!  

Lee Cullip