In professional sports, a lot of people believe that muscular injuries are just part of the game. That it’s normal for professional athletes to risk injury every time they train, practice and compete. These beliefs, however, are simply not true! In fact, in about 99% of cases, injuries can be prevented.
Updating Training Techniques
The problem is that a lot of professional training techniques remain obsolete; they’re a recipe for injury and failure. A lot of sports training professionals, for instance, still train all team members the same way. In other words, these professionals do not use an individualized approach to training.
This is problematic because players in different positions will not play and experience the game the same way. Case in point, a defender in soccer does not play and react the same way as a forward.
In addition, each player has his or her own set of weaknesses and limitations. Consequently, the lack of an individualized approach places limits on athletes to realize their full performance potential and protect themselves from injuries.
Establishing Readiness Measures
Throughout my career as a coach, I’ve seen this firsthand. I once met a rugby player, for example, who got a concussion. After completing rehabilitation, he was allowed to start playing again, but within the second game, he got concussed! This suggests that he was not rehabilitated properly, most likely due to the lack of measures in place which would have determined his readiness.
A similar situation occurred with a soccer player who was out for 4 months due to a foot injury. After rehabilitation, he returned to the field and played a decent game. But, 70 minutes in, he got injured again! In fact, he got a foot injury in the same place, but on the other foot. His experience shows that there was something lacking in his performance readiness assessment. He probably felt that he was ready to return the field, physically speaking, but mentally, that’s a completely different story!
Using a Customized Approach
In my opinion, it’s clear that to limit muscular injury and enhance athletic performance, it’s essential to use innovative technologies and customized techniques. At Optimum Sport Performance, I treat and train my clients using an individualized approach. Part of this approach includes using NeuroTracker, a 3D multiple object tracking tool.
I was first introduced to NeuroTracker through Dr. Jean-Francois Chermann, a leading neurologist and concussion specialist, who was looking for a solution to diagnose concussions. I quickly became convinced of its possibilities for post-concussion treatment and sports performance.
Integrating a Cognitive Assessment
When a client comes to see me, I first establish a cognitive baseline for them using NeuroTracker. This baseline allows me to understand their overall cognitive threshold. In other words, I create a physico-cognitive passport for them, which allows me to better understand their mental and physical strengths, weaknesses and limitations.
With this cognitive assessment, I can better design a program that corresponds to their physical and mental needs. Only by understanding how both the mind and body work can real, individualized training be built.
Enhancing Peripheral Vision
When someone suffers from a concussion, their peripheral vision can take a real blow. As their brain is not in perfect health, it may be difficult for them to interpret their surroundings and make smart playing decisions.
When athletes come to me with a concussion, I use NeuroTracker to help measure their cognitive performance. After some training, I’ll be able to determine if an athlete’s score matches his or her baseline score, to see if he or she is ready to compete again.
By isolating their peripheral vision and training them to track during competition, the athlete will be able to detect and prevent more unwanted collisions that can cause injuries. Improving both the body and mind is essential to helping recovery and preventing re-injuries of the same kind.
Stephan Roux is the CEO and Performance Director of Optimum Sport Performance, a centre that specializes in improving the physical and mental performance of its clients. With locations in France, Spain and Canada, the centre has been optimizing sport performance and limiting muscle injuries since 2013. Visit www.optimumsportperformance.com to learn more about Roux, his team and the services offered at the Optimum Sport Performance.
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