How To Reduce Injuries During Wrestling Season
Wrestling is a very physically demanding sport both in training and competition. One unfortunate side effect that comes along with the physicality of wrestling is injuries, but there are ways you can reduce your risk of injuries during the wrestling season so you don’t end up sitting out of competition or worse, missing the entire postseason tournament. So here are some ways you can reduce your risk of injuries during the wrestling season.
One way to minimize injuries during the wrestling season is to properly rehab injuries during the off season. There are a lot of different types of injuries that tend to recur in athletes when they are in season, so if you know you are going to struggle with an old injury, use the off season to your advantage and do what is necessary so that the injury does not resurface.
It is obviously very important to train hard in wrestling, but it is equally important to train smart as well. By training smarter, you can help to avoid the risk of unnecessary injuries. One way to train smarter is to swap running out for other types of cardio. Excessive running can be very hard on the back, hips, and knees, and while running is a great way to work on your conditioning, it is not the only way. There have been wrestlers who have had to sit out due to shin splints caused by running. An injury like this, for a wrestler, is 100% avoidable.
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Another example of training smarter is changing up the way you lift weights in season. Most people should not be doing the same lifting program in season as they did out of season. An intense lifting program plus grueling wrestling practices can lead to injury very fast because it causes too much wear and tear on the body and there is never enough time for the body to fully recover. So you should still be lifting during the season, but just not necessarily the same volume.
Warm Up Properly
Another way to help minimize the risk of injury is to warm up properly and stay warm through the end of practice. One thing that seems to happen in a lot of wrestling practice is the team does a great job warming up and drilling, then practice slows down for going over technique only to go into live wrestling afterwards. This is where some wrestlers get injured. You have to keep your sweat going and stay warm. So once you get warmed up, you need to stay warmed up. If your team has a technique session in the middle of every practice and it causes you to cool down too much, talk with you coach to see if they would be open to changing up the order of practice.
Sit Out If Necessary
No wrestler likes to sit out of competition, but sometimes it may be necessary to let an injury heal. It is definitely important to get matches in, but if wrestling tournament in the middle of the season means you might not be able to compete at the state tournament because of an injury, then you better talk with your coach and trainer about sitting it out. Look at the big picture, if you ultimate goal for the season is to win a state title, that may include sitting out one tournament or meet in order to let your body heal.
Talk With Your Trainer
If you have an injury occur, talk with your team’s athletic trainer about it right away. Dealing with injuries is what they do. They can set up you with treatment protocols and rehab to help minimize the effect of the injury and help you get better faster. Don’t wait until the injury gets really bad either. Small acute injuries are much easier for trainers to deal with than severe chronic ones.
Most schools have some type of athletic training service, it is best to use them, but if for some reason your school does not have athletic trainers, talk with your coach about your injury. Most coaches have been around the sport long enough to have a pretty good idea of how to deal with basic injuries. Obviously, if the injury is severe, go see a doctor.
Focus On Recovery
Another way you can help to reduce the risk of injury is to focus on and take recovery after practice and competition serious. This may include a good cool down, stretching, an ice bath, or going to the training room and icing injuries. It also extends to eating good food so your body has the proper nutrition it needs to heal and replenish properly. Also, getting adequate sleep every night can make a huge difference. Your body does most of its repairing and healing while you are sleeping, so if you are staying up late and not getting enough sleep, your body isn’t going to be able to repair itself properly.
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