I am an osteopath during the week, but an assistant coach on Sundays at Ealing Trailfinders, my son’s rugby club.
At the various tournaments the club enters, I am always struck by the sight of the substitutes standing shivering-cum-frozen on the side of the pitch. They are not waiting to join the fray so much as exposing themselves to the risk of injury.
I have witnessed many half-hearted and selective warm-ups on the rugby pitch, but no matter which team sport is involved, there are two conditions necessary to ensuring a substitute is ready for action:
- Firstly, he or she (and the rest of the team) must have engaged in a credible, whole-body, warm-up routine;
- Secondly, he or she must keep active and warmed-up (with runs, lunges and passes) whilst awaiting the call onto the pitch.
Having taken this opportunity to moan about athlete’s insufficient readiness for sudden bursts of physical performance, let me also point out that many, if not most, of the athletes we treat in our clinic experience injuries because they do not have convincing warm-down and stretch routines at the end of a session, or get warm-up and stretch routines mixed up.
Confused? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Ealing clinic (020 8566 0767) or Uxbridge (01895 2000 50).