Updated: September 24, 2020 10:40 PM
Created: September 24, 2020 06:50 PM
(ABC 6 News) - While the return of high school football and volleyball is still fresh, there are some non-virus concerns that are being brought up.
Such as the physical affect it will have on athletes, considering most programs have not had normal practices or training leading to the new, amended season.
"They're used to doing two-a-days in August and getting preparation for their…at least in football, getting preparation for their real games that start in September," Dr. Todd Milbrandt, a Mayo Clinic pediatric orthopedic surgeon, said. "So, they have almost a four to six week uptick in their strength and conditioning. Also learning how to hit and learn how to take hits."
The big question is, how can athletes work toward preventing injuries in such a short amount of time?
"There's no way that we're going to escape this shortened six week time without an increase in injuries," Dr. Milbrandt said. "I hope that doesn't happen but I just don't think that's enough ramp up time. It's just going to be hard to catch their ability and their muscular training to get them to a level where they are not going to get injured."
The highest risk injuries, according to Dr. Milbrandt, will involve ACL's and fractures. Luckily, some teams are not jumping right into practices without some conditioning under their belt. Even though it was not the off-season most programs expected, many tried to make the most of it.
"Going all the way back to the summer, starting in July…We opened our non-sports specific strength training," Shane Van Beek, Triton Public Schools' activities director, said. "It encourages as many students as possible under the guidelines and protocols we had in place to come back and start exercising in hopes of a season."
In Rochester, certified athletic trainers and conditioning coaches are on staff to help and some provided instruction during the summer to keep athletes in shape.
"So those athletes who have done that or that have done strength and coniditioning on their own throughout the summer, are going to be at an advantage not only performace, but injury risk as well," Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Athletic Trainer Dan Christoffer said.
Regardless of the resources available to athletes, experts say that hydration, nutrition, stretching and targeted workouts (to strengthen core and legs) will be key to lowering injury risks. Some of those workouts can be found here.
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