How to prepare your child for the upcoming sporting season

Community sports are a fantastic way for your child to develop skills, get active and socialise with others.

However, with these benefits also comes the risk of injury. While different sports have a range of injuries that can occur while playing, preparing for the upcoming season can help your child avoid injury. With that in mind, we’ve listed five ways you can help prepare your child from injury this sporting season. 

Highlight the importance of warming up 

Stretching and warming up is crucial for performance and injury prevention. Warming up helps prepare your child for exercise through increasing their blood flow, range of movement and flexibility in the muscles. Ensuring that your child is aware of the importance of warming up and that they continue to perform it before participating in sport, can help prevent injury from occurring. 

Learn the correct technique 

Many injuries caused in community sports are often a result of having incorrect technique or form while playing. For example, kicking a ball with poor technique can lead to a sprain or strain in the lower limbs. Ensure that your child learns the correct technique by attending training before and throughout the sporting season. 

Adequate rest and taking breaks 

The lack of sleep can negatively impact your child’s performance and recovery after sports. Children and teens are often placed at a higher risk for overuse injuries as their bodies are still in development. We’ve found many overuse injuries enter our practice from soreness in the muscles to stress fractures in the bones. Ensure that your child receives an adequate amount of rest, especially during the offseason and between sports to allow the body to recover.

Have the correct equipment 

Make sure that your child has the correct equipment required before the season begins. Having correct protective equipment such as shin guards, mouthguards and shoes are crucial in protecting your child from injury during sports. Furthermore, ensure that the equipment fits correctly and continues to be replaced as your child grows throughout the years.

Staying Hydrated 

Heat-related injuries are a key concern for children in Australia. When your child becomes dehydrated, their muscles can start to cramp and spasm, therefore increasing their risk of injury if they continue to play. Ensure that your child has adequate water before, during and after sport and watch for heat-related illness signs such as fatigue, nausea or fainting. 

If you notice a change in your child’s technique while playing sport, it’s important to recognise the injury and seek help early. Overuse injuries, sprains and strains can worsen over time if left unrecognised, therefore it’s important that both you and your child are aware of the signs to avoid further injury from occurring. If your child has been injured or experiencing aches and pains, contact the Progressive team this week. 

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.