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  • Writer's pictureLyndsey

The beautiful game

And how to avoid those inevitable knocks

From the die-hard fans to the devoted players and little dreamers in backyards everywhere – it’s unlikely that you can escape the game of football. The game transcends race, religion, culture, and nationality to unite us in a singular interest. It has become an international language with a staggering 270 million people playing in games across the globe.

Even if you’re not normally a football fan, you’ll likely find yourself drawn to the excitement. After all, this is a game that has the power to bring together people from all walks of life. However this year, football has come to an unusual standstill. Covid-19 has meant that the game, like all sports, has stopped for the first time since the second World War.

Whilst this is an unwelcome break, it's a perfect opportunity to reflect and think about how you can prepare your body and mind properly for when we get back to some degree of normality.

The game we love does not come without consequence. Unfortunately, football injuries are all too common but prevention is always better than cure. Nearly half of all football injuries can be avoided by following a specialised training programme. In most cases, injuries are caused by an underlying weakness or imbalance in the muscles of the leg, core, and pelvis. So training and getting the body strong can help you.

Muscle injuries are a frequent occurrence among football players. This type of injury is associated with a burst of acceleration, sprinting, sudden stopping, lunging, sliding or a high kick.

Ankle and knee injuries are also very common. This injury occurs when ligaments are strained, during twisting, jumping, changing direction or contact/tackling.

Specialised exercises and training programmes address the areas that are most vulnerable to injury during a game and can dramatically reduce your risk of getting injured.

Your physical fitness is the single most important factor in preventing football injuries.

For instance:

  • Strength training can reduce the incidence of injury by nearly half (47%) compared to players who did no specific strength training.

  • 51% of hamstring injuries can be avoided with good proprioceptive programmes.

  • Among players who participated in pre-season proprioceptive training 3x a week, there were 7x fewer ACL injuries and an 87% decrease in the risk of ankle sprain.

  • Neuromuscular training for the knee can reduce the incidents of serious knee injury by 3.5x

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