How Physiotherapy Will Help Improve Your Play
We all want to play and perform at our best. We might just be getting into a recreational sport for the first time, or we might be a seasoned athlete who’s dedicated years to their craft. Either way, we want our bodies to perform when we expect them to.
Unfortunately every now and again, things don’t go as planned. We might pull up sore after a training session, or we might feel a sudden jolt of pain when turning suddenly during a game. This pain might be so bad that it may alter the way we train, or it can stop us completely from playing- taking weeks or even months to recover. This can be heartbreaking to anyone who loves their activities or sports. As physiotherapists, we want to make sure you’re kept doing what you love by minimising the risk that pain and injury can have on you. We want to fully equip you with all the knowledge and tools you need to keep you at your best- turning every stone to make sure you’re moving to your full potential.
We know physiotherapy can help improve your play. The question is; do you have all the tools you need to keep you performing at your best and minimise your risk of injury? What if doing more practice and learning more techniques won’t help you anymore in your sports performance? What if there’s already a plateau you can’t overcome with just more effort and willpower?
This is where physiotherapy can help. Physiotherapists work with a variety of people, however physios are more widely known for working with people in sports. You might see a physio run onto a field when an athlete is injured, or you might see them involved in warm-up drills before a game. Physiotherapists main roles are to reduce risk of injury, rehabilitating injured athletes back to sport, and improving the performance of playing athletes. Physiotherapy can help you boost your sports performance through the following:
- Pinpointing faulty movement patterns that affect your performance
- Assess for muscle imbalances that need correcting
- Prescribe specific strength and flexibility training
- Specific performance conditioning tailored to your goals or sport
- Tailored exercises to make your movement patterns more efficient
It starts by getting a good understanding of what it is you want your body to do. Once we understand your specific goals, we then conduct a thorough biomechanical screening assessment to highlight what faults might need addressing. The treatment is then customised according to your specific conditions, goals and requirements- to achieve your ideal performance outcome.
About sports biomechanics:
World-class athletes don’t just spend more time practicing. They also do and undergo several other things to optimise their performance. They also have several coaches coming from different fields (nutrition and diet, psychology and mental performance, motivation, exercise, sports specialist, etc.). After all, performing well during a game requires a holistic and integrated approach. For example, a clear mind and intense focus is required to outsmart the opponent and win the game. A healthy diet and proper nutrition is also required especially if you have a very active lifestyle and you want to last long in games and marathons.
Why do all those things and really go far in improving performance? For world-class basketball players, boxers, swimmers and other athletes a small improvement can mean millions of dollars and huge differences in recognition (e.g. we always remember the first and forget about the second). For instance, solid NBA fans know Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Stephen Curry have among the highest 3-point field goal percentages (.400, .395 and .436 respectively) but the rest of the list most of us don’t know (or even won’t bother to know). They get the most press coverage and recognition (and thereby more endorsements and money). Notice that the differences among the percentages are very small especially if you compare the top 3 versus the rest. However, those small differences indeed add up if we’re considering the length of the players’ careers.
Gaining the slightest competitive edge can mean something huge especially in the world of sports. This also applies even if you’re doing sports for fun and leisure. After all, sports become more fun once you start to get serious and you let your competitive side lead on. One way to show your competitiveness is by doing or undergoing something aside from the sports you’re practicing.
Sports biomechanics and physiotherapy are amazing starting points. Sports biomechanics is about the physics of sports (gaining a deeper understanding of athletic performance through physics, video analysis, mathematical modelling and other methods). The goal is to help the athletes acquire optimal muscle functionality and performance (which then could translate to better performance in sports). On the other hand, physiotherapy’s role here could be about biomechanical screening assessment and identifying and correcting faulty movement patterns that stop you from achieving your full potential.
Aside from helping correct your faulty movement patterns, physiotherapy can also help prevent injuries in the future. This is important if you want continuous progress in your performance. An injury or pain in your knee, ankle or hamstring can bring you back to zero when trying to learn or do well in a sport.
Cycling, running, rowing, jujitsu, swimming, weight training and other physical activities can put a toll on your different joints and muscles. Although there are available effective rehabilitation and injury management methods, it’s still best to prevent the injuries from happening in the first place. This way, there will be no interruption to your sports activities and general living (at home or at the workplace).
As mentioned earlier, sports performance requires a holistic and integrated approach. For example, here at Erko Physio (our service area includes Erskineville, Newtown and Alexandria) we liaise with the clients’ personal trainers and sports coaches to ensure optimal outcomes. This is important especially when the client wants to get back to his/her sports and fitness activity as soon as possible.
Contact us today here at Erko Physio and we’ll perform a thorough assessment. This is more about gaining a competitive edge. This is about protecting yourself from injuries (or helping you recover quickly) so that you can better enjoy your favourite sport and stay fit for the long term.