One question we repeatedly get asked by concerned parents is what kind of Physio support will my child have if I send them to an NCAA school. Parents are worried about injuries, over use, and long training hours among other things.
Well, to answer some of those questions we’d love to introduce you to our SECOND speaker for our Monday night at Showcase 2015 event. Holly Treadway is a a licensed Physical Therapist and Athletic Trainer who worked at both Miami University (Ohio) and the University of Michigan as an athletic trainer. She will be speaking about the culture of athletic training, how your athletic trainer is there to support you, and what you can do to stay healthy while competing in College.
We are very honoured to have Holly not only as a speaker, but as our on-field physio support during Showcase 2015 AND she has agreed to guest blog for us today! Check out her advice on cross training below!
Cross Training to Improve Skill and Prevent Injuries
by Holly Treadway, PT, DPT, ATC
We all know you live for Field Hockey, and have most likely been playing close to year round for several years now – but did you ever think that playing a different sport could actually improve your Field Hockey skills?
You may have heard of ‘muscle memory’ and ‘practice makes perfect’ – but what does it really mean?
Your muscles don’t actually have memories. The brain sends a complex signal through neurotransmitters to your muscles to perform the action. The more you perform that activity, the faster your brain is able to find and send the same signal, almost like the pathway is on the top of your bag, not down by the dirty socks in the bottom where you have to root around to find it! By now, your brain is familiar with the motions your body performs during Field Hockey, but what about other actions like dance, jumping, or throwing?
This is where cross training comes in – substituting an every day Field Hockey workout for a totally different activity. What this does, is challenges your brain to find and use new pathways for different muscle actions. This sharpens your brain’s ability to ‘find’ these actions and helps you respond quicker when something unexpected happens on the field. It also helps counter-balance the muscles that you tend to over use for Field Hockey to prevent injuries.
Has your back been hurting from bending over on the field? Swimming would use all of the muscles that counter act the hours of bending over and help relieve the pain! Did you twist your ankle last season and never felt quite stable again? Taking a yoga, Pilates, or dance class will make you balance in many positions barefoot, strengthening the intrinsic muscles in the foot and ankle so that you can react to uneven ground without suffering another injury.
Practicing one sport can also become monotonous for your brain. You know how sometimes you drive to school and you don’t even remember the trip because you felt like you were on ‘autopilot’? The same thing can happen with sports. You just go through the motions at practice without even thinking about it. Cross training can snap you out of that! You will notice a whole different side of your teammates when you have a spontaneous kickball game at the end of practice – it can re-energize your body and brain for the next field hockey practice, and allow you to laugh and bond with your teammates.
The American Academy of Pediatric Physicians recommends not training in one sport for more hours per week than your age, in order to prevent over-use injuries. So, if you’re 16yrs old, don’t practice the same sport more than 16hrs per week. If you find yourself going over this recommendation, try changing one workout per week to something you’ve NEVER done before – and take a teammate with you! It just may translate to a more productive year on the field, for your brain and your body!
A note from Access Sport: In Canada all National and Provincial sport organizations function under the Canadian Sport for Life’s Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) program which is described as “A developmental pathway whereby athletes follow optimal training, competition, and recovery regimens from childhood through all phases of adulthood.” The LTAD helps organizations and coaches decide how much is too much in terms of training, as well as providing ideas for cross training as Holly has suggested in her article above. LTAD is split into stages that makes recommendations for sport development based on a number of factors which include most importantly age and gender. All athletes currently in high school, will fall under the Train to Train or Train to Compete stages. For more information on what Canada Sport for Life and the LTAD visit their website.
For Holly’s full bio, visit our website here.
ALL athletes that are registered for SHOWCASE 2015 will receive TWO FREE TICKETS (one for you, one for a parent) Other individual tickets will be limited and available for purchase, more information TBA.
Over the next couple weeks we will be introducing our guest speakers through our Website and our many Social Media accounts.
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