Spring sports and winter sports are similar: They require strength, speed, skill, agility and sweat. But while they both depend on these attributes, they have their own preparations and demands.
From playing surfaces to equipment to the stresses incurred by varying body parts, these changing needs require a winter-to-spring transition for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This is particularly critical for younger athletes whose bones and joints are still developing, and who may be inexperienced at switching between sports seasons.
Safely transitioning sports is often a matter of experience. Many athletes—from recreational to professional—have learned through trial and error how to adapt to their activity, both for athletic improvement and injury prevention.
Below are some of the techniques they have used and you can use to make the smoothest transition possible between spring sports and winter sports:
1. Get a pre-season physical
Many sports require a pre-season physical for youth athletes as a rule of participation, but everyone should consider having a check-up. This will help to identify any potential health or injury risk, and in so doing, ensure you are ready to play.
2. Have a lesson or two
If you’re new to the spring sport or just rusty, consider investing in a lesson or two from a professional, such as a coach or a trainer. This will start you off on the right foot as proper technique aids both good performance and injury prevention.
3. Build up to the activity
Ideally, you want to do some pre-season conditioning and preparation relative to your spring sport. However, that conditioning can also be acquired by slowly acclimating to your new activity. If you’re not in shape in general, the best approach is to partake in some form of fitness prior to the season.
4. Invest in the proper equipment
Different sports mean different gear. Make sure you get the best gear for your spring activity. That includes sports equipment and attire. Constantly improving technology has resulted in clothing made of the most advanced sports performance fabrics.
5. Break in your equipment
Whether it is new shoes or getting accustomed to a racquet or glove, avoid discomfort such as blisters or foot and ankle problems by ensuring your gear is fully ready to use.
6. Remember general sports principles
Switching from one sport to another is no reason to change good habits. You can also use the new season to acquire them:
- Always warm up and cool down
- Drink plenty of fluids (but don’t overhydrate)
- Don’t overdo your activity
- Rest/recover between sessions
6. Protect your skin outside
Spring means enjoying the outdoors. An under-considered aspect of outdoor sports is the need for skin protection. Whether you’re young or older, whether it’s sunny or cloudy (the sun’s rays come through the clouds), apply sunscreen early and often, particularly if you perspire. Make sure children do so, as well. Now is a good time to educate them on skin safety.
Come to the Sports Medicine Specialists
If sports-related injuries do occur, our physicians at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine have years of experience in effectively treating all orthopedic conditions. Our multidisciplinary approach to care ensures that patients receive the customized treatment they need to get back in the game.