Can pre-season training help prevent sports injuries?

Although high school and college athletes do need pre-season training to get in shape before the actual season of play begins, a study suggests that preventing injury may not be accomplished by that pre-season training.

Researchers from Canada evaluated a total of 86 male and female sports players, looking at endurance, body strength and flexibility. Practice time and competition time was collected and measured against injuries these players sustained during the play season. More than 75 percent of the athletes had one injury during the season, and the injury occurred more often during actual play, compared to practice time. There did not appear to be a correlation between overall fitness from pre-season workouts and the time frame to first injury. Instead, greater predictors of injury were (a) being female and (b) playing volleyball. The assumption had been that preseason fitness would provide greater protection. In fact, it was not a significant factor in injury risk reduction.

Experts still suggest that there are lots of other benefits that pre-season workouts provide. Play ability, conditioning and interacting with teammates all help to achieve a better team performance during the actual play season.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.