Week 4 Return to Sport
We’ve made it to the final week! Last week we reintroduced equipment whilst also maximising the intensity and duration of drills. As long as last week was pain free on completion of all your drills, you’re ready to move onto the fourth and final week. This is the week where we can start to return to staggered game play and reintroduce contact play.
Towards the beginning of the week tackling drills should be implemented so we can start to experience contact before actual game play. Here we have the opportunity to combine all the elements of the past 3 weeks as well as bring one final element to play before finally stepping onto a pitch.
If we again use the previous drill we have been using and progressing each week, we can alter it to include points for a partner to tackle. For example adding a 2nd, 3rd and 4th person to the drill at each triangle as a point of contact will allow for an opportunity for tackling and simulate a one on one situation.
It is important to note the people who are tackling should start off with a lower intensity and increase this progressively with each run through.
Introducing Game Play
After this is beginning to feel comfortable again and you have no pain during and after, we can start to begin to bring in game play.
Now this does not mean go back to a full game scenario, but instead start on a smaller scale. Shorter 5 minute game plays with lower numbers such as 3 a side. This enables you to see how comfortable you are with game play after such a long time.
As this begins to feel easier we can then up the team numbers or the total minutes of game play. It is important to not get carried away with a game scenario and remain disciplined as we do not want you to experience any injuries or reversibility which will only set you back in your training.
Ready to return to normal Play
As we then hit the end of this week we should be looking at a return to normal game play situations.
It would be best to return slowly, so playing 30 minutes at a time and slowly increasing this play time as you start to feel more comfortable. It’s important to note that if at any point you start to feel pain, you should come off rather than play through the pain.
Proving that everything has gone well and you are able to return to your normal playtime, it is so important to still include rest and rehab days we have discussed through this 4 week programme. This will minimise the risk of injury and enable you to keep consistent in your training and games.
If you still have concerns about returning to sport after following this programme, Beth our Sports Therapist, works with young athletes to plan return to sport and minimise the risk of getting injured.