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Essential Sports Equipment To Heal Injuries

Some people don’t like wearing specialist sports equipment. They think it looks unfashionable, or they find it cumbersome to move around in. However, it’s far better to wear these things, no matter how you might feel about them, than to run the risk of sustaining an injury or making a current injury even worse. With that in mind, here are some of the most essential pieces of sports equipment to heal injuries – once you know what they are and why they are important, you’ll be much more willing to wear them. Read on to find out more. 

 

Support Braces 

If you have been injured in the gym or out on the sports field, you’ll know that the injury can put you out of action for a number of days and perhaps even longer. If you want to reduce this time, you need to support the injured area so that if you were to move – often, although rest is a useful tool, it’s not always possible to stay entirely still, if at all – there would be no further damage. 

 

Rather than being uncomfortable or difficult to use, the supports and braces from Podobrace are designed with comfort and movement in mind, as well as healing. Using one of these braces and having one or two in your gym bag just in case is an excellent idea. 

 

 

Protective Eyewear

Protective eyewear such as goggles or specially designed sunglasses might be considered a way to prevent injury, and as such, they are extremely important to use. However, they can also be useful when healing an injury. This is because if you have already sustained any kind of eye injury, wearing protective glasses or goggles will prevent any dust, debris, or other potentially harmful elements from getting into your eye. Although this is not good in any circumstance, if you are trying to heal from an injury, it’s even more important to keep germs out. It also means that you are less likely to run your eye, causing you more pain and potentially a longer healing time. 

 

On top of this, your healing eye will be highly sensitive to light. By wearing polarized lenses, you can protect your eyes from this issue, feel more comfortable, and be able to exercise without any issues. 

 

First Aid Kit 

Although a first aid kit is not specifically a piece of sporting equipment, it should certainly be part of your essential list of items that will help you heal after an injury. Of course, you’ll hope you never have to use it, but as ever, it’s better to have a first aid kit and not need it than to need one and not have it. 

 

Within your first aid kit, you should include bandages, alcohol wipes, soothing creams, pain and inflammation-reducing medication, and the brace or compression bandage we mentioned above. If you have all of this in your bag at all times, you can be sure that, no matter what injury you sustain, you can at least start the healing process, even if it’s serious enough to need a doctor’s care. 

10 Tips for Your Offseason Training

While it may not feel like it, the off season can be just as critical to success as the regular season itself. Even though you may not be competing, the off season presents the perfect opportunity to up your game, so we’ve rounded up 10 tips to help you take your off season training to the next level. What are you waiting for? Grab your sports guard and get training!

  • Review your past performance.

Assuming that you are planning to compete competitively in the upcoming season, the off season marks the perfect time to review your past performance and identify any weaknesses. Review your recent competitions and practices to see if you can identify any patterns in your activity. Looking them over with your personal coach or trainer (if you have one) will allow you to get an outside opinion and see your performance with new eyes.

  • Set goals for your training.

During the off season, you need more concrete training goals than a vague aim of staying in shape. Based on your performance review, identify a couple goals that could help improve your performance: building your strength, improving your stamina, increasing your speed, enhancing your balance, increasing your flexibility, and so on. Then design an off-season training regimen that is specifically created to help you work on these goals. Make sure that you set some measurements for yourself to keep track of your progress, too.

 

  • Consult with an expert.

If you don’t normally work with a coach or personal trainer one-on-one, then the off season is a great time to change that. Getting personalized help from an expert, even if just for a few weeks or months, can give you the boost you need to take your training to the next level. If you feel like you’ve plateaued on your own, then ask your fellow athletes for recommendations for trainers who they trust, and book a few sessions to see how it goes.

  • Do something different.

Many athletes are understandably hesitant to try a new exercise or workout during the regular season. What if it doesn’t help their performance or, even worse, impacts their performance negatively? That’s why the off season is the perfect time to experiment with a new training regimen that you wouldn’t want to risk when you’re regularly competing. If you feel like you got into a training rut during the season, now is the perfect time to try to snap yourself out of it.

  • Perfect your form.

The off season is a great time to get technical and really focus on the small details. Go back to basics and really focus on your form, whether that’s on a deadlift or a tennis serve. Take things slow and focus on doing them right instead of fast. Even minute changes in your form can significantly enhance your performance during the season, especially once you practice them so often they become second nature.

  • Focus on active recovery.

Yes, the off season is all about recovery, but that doesn’t mean that you should hang up your moldable mouth guard for good and spend your days only sitting on the couch. Instead, focus on active recovery, such as yoga, that will strengthen your body and improve balance and flexibility without exhausting you physically the way the season does. You should include a couple of low-intensity days each week for active recovery to make it a regular part of your training schedule.

  • Stay consistent with workouts.

During the off season, many athletes (especially aspiring pros in high school or college) tend to slack off and do less and less training as their break wears on. It can be especially hard to keep going in winter, when the days are shorter and the weather is colder, which can make it difficult or even impossible to train outside. That’s why it’s so important to make a schedule and stick with it: Having a plan ahead of time will encourage you to stay consistent instead of skipping your workouts often.

  • Prioritize function, not aesthetics.

It’s tempting to take the off season to slim down, bulk up, or otherwise embark on a training regimen that will help you achieve peak beach body. However, if you’re serious about your sport, then you should use the off season to focus on function over aesthetics. For instance, big muscles will do you no good — and may even hinder your performance — if you’re an endurance athlete who needs to be able to go the distance during the season.

 

  • Upgrade your gear.

The off season is also the ideal time to upgrade your gear and get used to it before the season starts, such as breaking in new shoes and customizing a new boil and bite mouthguard. Examine all of your gear for damage it has sustained during the off season. Repair it if you can. If it can’t be salvaged, then toss it and replace it. Make sure to take your new gear out for practice runs before the season starts so you can get used to it and adjust your playing style as needed.

  • Don’t forget to rest.

While it’s true that you shouldn’t spend the entire offseason loafing around, most athletes like to take between two and four weeks completely off from scheduled training. They may do some light workouts as they feel like it, but they mostly spend this time resting their bodies, as well as de-stressing mentally after the pressure of the season. Make sure that you set aside some time at the beginning of your off season to decompress — then dive back into your offseason training.

 

Photos by Shutterstock.com 

Top 6 Agility Drills for Soccer Development

Improving skills as a soccer player largely involves being able to take quick and decisive control over the ball. Coaches are often striving to improve their players’ confidence because the more confident they feel when they have the ball in their feet, the better they’ll be at getting around the opposition and knowing when to release the ball to another teammate. 

 

Speedy footwork and coordination go hand-in-hand when it comes to being a better soccer player. The more you work on these elements, the better you’ll feel about using your skills on the pitch.

 

Great agility ladder drills to bring out players’ potential are one of the best techniques that soccer players use to improve their skills. There are tons of agility ladder drills available which can make it difficult to know where to start. 

 

This post covers the top drills that you can start introducing to your players to boost their skills and confidence. 

 

Side Steps

 

Side steps are one of the most common types of agility ladder exercises that you’ve probably seen being performed. It involves you putting both of your feet in both rings before you move on.

 

However, the key with this exercise is to be standing sideways so that you’re moving up the ladder at a sideways angle. Be sure to focus on moving your arms and legs in sync as you move up. This is something that will help with your balance and overall coordination. 

 

Start by going up the ladder facing sideways before going back down it with your opposite foot leading instead. 

 

1-Step & 2 -Step

 

The one-step and two-step exercise is another one that you may have seen being performed. The one-step exercise is simple and involves putting one foot in a ring and changing between them as you move up the ladder. 

 

Be sure not to be taking large strides while doing this exercise. Instead, focus on being speedy and lifting your feet off the ground just enough to clear the ring. At the start, you may need to take things a little slow and make sure that you’re getting the technique right. You can increase the speed once you feel more confident about your coordination. 

The two-step exercise is performed in the same way as the one-step exercise, however, you put both feet in each ring before moving up the ladder. 

 

Jumping Jacks

 

Jumping jacks are excellent for improving your coordination, strength, and balance. This exercise involves you starting with both of your feet inside one ring. You then jump forward and land with both of your feet on the outside of the ring. 

 

After this, you jump into the ring in front of you and make sure that both of your feet land inside the ring. Continue this all the way up the ladder while also swinging your arms upwards over your head with each jump. 

 

Hopping

 

When it comes to hopping, start by hopping forwards into the ring in front of you while making sure that you’re always using the same foot. Do this up the ladder and then come back down. When you come back down the ladder, switch the leg that you’re hopping on. 

 

This exercise is effective for improving your strength and balance. If you find that hopping is too basic or easy, you could add little variations, such as hopping sideways through the rings. 

 

Shuffles

 

Shuffling is where these exercises get a little more complex and they require more focus as you need to master your coordination for these. 

 

Begin by standing to one side of the ladder and proceed to move in and out at a diagonal angle through the ladder. Start from the right side and shuffle yourself to the left side while ensuring that both of your feet remain in the same ring. 

 

Once you’ve shuffled from right to left, you want to put your feet outside of the ring quickly and use it to push yourself and place your foot in the ring that’s ahead of you. You can then bring your opposite foot up into the same ring. 

 

Continue this movement all the way up the ladder. If you’re having a hard time completing this exercise, be sure to start at a slow pace. You can then gradually increase the pace as you go along. 

 

When you’re more confident with performing the shuffle this way, you can progress to doing it backward. This exercise works in the same way as described above, however, you simply move backward instead. 

 

Keep one foot on the outside of the rings while you use the other one to go in and out of the rings as you move backward. Make sure that your foot is quickly touching the inside of the rings and tapping out again before you progress onto the next one. 

 

When one of your feet is tapping in and out of the rings, be sure that your other foot moves in a straight line with it and is moving at the same pace. Also, make sure to alternate which foot taps in and out and which foot stays on the outside. 

 

Crossover

 

The crossover exercise is great for improving your coordination on the pitch during times where your feet cross over. 

 

Start by standing sideways and put one foot in one ring while crossing over your other foot and placing it in the ring ahead. Do this exercise with one foot leading up the ladder and then switch so that your other foot is leading on the way back down. 

 

Conclusion

 

Now that you know more about what some of the best agility ladder drills have to offer, you can start implementing them into your training routines. These exercises are superb for improving speed, coordination, balance, and strength. 

 

Soccer players can boost their confidence on the ball by having better coordination and balance and using agility ladders is a fantastic way to achieve that. Hopefully, you can introduce these exercises and start noticing how your players benefit while playing against opponents.