I was lucky to attend a recent session organised for the Wotton under Edge youth hockey players by Prof. Mark De Ste Croix on sports injury prevention.

Mark is Professor of Paediatric Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire. As well as having published extensively in international scientific journals on muscle, ligament and joint health he has consulted to some of the leading sports teams in Europe, including Barcelona Football Club, on injury prevention in youth players, female and male.

The session educated and empowered the youth players to adopt good practises and movement habits, so as they progress through their hockey (and wider sporting) careers they can reduce their risks of athletic injuries. He explained that between the age of 12 – 15, young hockey players are at higher risk of injury than adults, due to growing. Girls have a much higher risk of injury than the boys due to hormones and the fact that girls hips widen and therefore put more stress on their knees. He also recommended that children should ideally partake in a variety of sports rather than specialise too early to be using and conditioning a variety of different muscle groups.

We listened to a video presentation and then moved into the gym for the practise of some conditioning exercises, as a Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, many of the exercises were familiar as based on core and leg strengthening particularly aiming at core, hamstrings and gluteals.

If you are returning to sports this autumn after a summer break, don’t forget conditioning your bodies muscles by either exercises at home, or the gym or by attending either Pilates or TRX (both available at the Courtyard Clinic) would be a great idea to prevent injuries. Or speak to your Chartered Physiotherapist for advice.

Helen Cann, MSCP, APPI Pilates Instructor.