Too often I meet players who have gone to a sports clinic with an injury and they go for a  scan, see a consultant and are told that they have ‘such and such’ diagnosis and that they wont be able to train or play for 12 weeks. Often that player will return to their club, will follow the advice to not train and might do some work with a power band and a few laps of the pitch and not a whole lot else.  Is that enough to be ready to return to training?

There needs to be a plan in place

In order for that player to return to training and play at a level that they expect to be at, they have to earn the right to get there. There needs to be a plan and a program put in place to ensure this happens and very often I do not see players having a plan.

This is why players can struggle with tightness, niggling injuries and their performance for months after returning from an injury. This is where my return to play program comes in.

What is a return to play program?

My return to play program gives the athlete a step by step program of where they are now, where they want to get back to and what they need to do to get there. For the plan to fully work the athlete needs to understand the steps in return to play that are involved. I start to integrate these steps as soon as possible after an injury to speed up recovery time  and ensure that when they hit the pitch, court or track, they are 100% ready and confident in their ability to perform.

What Are I Looking For In An Athlete Before They Can Return To Training?

Full range of motion in the injured and surrounding joints

The ability of the tissues to be able to absorb and produce force in any given direction

No fear, thoughts or hesitations in the player that may affect their movement or ability to train

That they have successfully progressed through the stages I use before they can go back running 

They can push, pull, jump and land without any hesitation

They have come through a progress running program that involves high load running

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