As a footballer, you know what impact injury can have on your game and your life. No one wants to spend too much time on the sidelines because of repetitive or niggling injuries.
Maybe you have experienced an overuse injury in the past, or maybe there is something about the way you train, or play, that could lead to injury in the future. Footy is an all-in sport and even if you are pain-free today, we encourage you to think about the future.
Pre-season is a critical time for a player, as your training load increases substantially. Whilst a team sport, each position requires a specific set of skills and each player has their own strengths and weakness. Where possible, your training should complement these needs to maximise your potential while reducing your injury risk. This is where a screening assessment comes in.
Both junior and senior football players of all levels and abilities should go through a musculoskeletal (MSK) screening while they are playing. Screening assessments can identify strength deficits or potential problems and opportunities that will help you better your game.
As a junior player, your body is constantly changing and tweaks to training regimes can help to minimise stress injuries that may arise and prolong your ability enjoy (and dominate) the game. For senior players, screening not only can identify tweaks to enhance your form but can help manage overuse injury risks that become more prevalent with age.
When we look at pre-season screenings, we like to focus on our player’s goals for the season. For example, if you are looking to pick up the ball more efficiently at full pace, we would want to test your hamstring flexibility using the 90/90 test which assesses hamstring length. Identifying that a player has reduced hamstring flexibility allows us to put them on a flexibility program which we’d expect to carry over into their functional performance on the field when picking up the ball and kicking. With increased performance will also come reduced injury risk, as the player's muscles will be far less likely to strain or tear during a game.
A good screening assessment is always done by a physio and should include a performance report, exercise treatment plan and a follow-up session that can assess how you are tracking towards your goal.
If your club doesn’t provide pre-season screening for players, it’s something you should consider for yourself. It’s an investment in you and your body, but it will also be of value to your team and the club.
Whether you are looking to achieve a stronger impact on the game, more wins, less time on the bench, or waking up with less injuries on a Sunday morning, a pre-season assessment will help you keep playing the game you love for as long as you want to – while getting fitter, faster and stronger.
Try our pre-season screening and get yourself match fit.