When in doubt, get checked out.
By: Rebecca Lee, PT
Summertime is finally here! School is out and lacrosse season is officially over. Some athletes take this time to relax and recuperate, while others continue to play by joining summer leagues and tournaments. No matter the athlete’s choice, now is a critical time to address any persistent injuries that may have occurred with your players during the past year.
Athletes often assume that because the demands of being “in-season” are no longer prevalent, taking time off can be an easy fix to lingering injuries. While appropriate rest can be favorable for injuries related to “overuse” (excessive repetitive forces that eventually lead to the body not being able to keep up with demands being placed on it), athletes should be assessed for any mechanical issues with their body.
Lacrosse puts asymmetric demands on athletes, such as consistently shooting off of their dominant side. This constant movement pattern can create an imbalance in their body. Having a professional eye analyze the athlete, whether it is a physical therapist, athletic trainer, or strength and conditioning coach, can help breakdown any impeding issues and address improvement before the next season begins.
Summer is the perfect time to determine the underlying causes of your athletes’ injuries and imbalances so they can return next season, stronger, and in optimal shape to play. Any imminent detriment that is not addressed can accumulate and create more stress to which the body has to adapt. As a coach, you have the ability and resources to educate your athletes on changing their mindset from having an “off season” to an “improvement season.”