Returning to Volleyball After an Injury
You should always follow doctor’s orders when returning to your sport after an injury, especially in volleyball, where your body must move quickly, in a variety of directions. Still, there are a few things you can do to ensure you return as quickly and as safely as possible. Use these tips to ease your way back into volleyball.
Slow and Steady
Before your injury, you may have been training and playing in games three to five times a week. However, your injury has likely taken you back a few months in strength.
Ease your way back into the sport by training just once or twice a week, keeping sessions light and easy. Focus on basic, functional movements like squats, pushing and pulling exercises, and jumping.
Slowly progress to movements in diagonal and lateral planes when you feel ready. If you start to feel pain, consult with a medical professional to be sure it’s okay to continue.
Stretch Whenever Possible
Injured or not, stretching is critical for all athletes, especially volleyball players. Make stretching a part of your regular routine. This helps ease the stress of the training that you’ve started doing again.
Try simple stretches for your hips, arms and legs and consider taking a weekly yoga therapy class. This will help with your balance, ensuring that you’re stable when moving quickly during a game.
Focus on Range of Motion
As you ease back into training, focus on range of motion. Be sure that you can complete exercises properly and completely, especially the ones that focus on the area you’ve injured. Cutting a motion short could lead to further damage, setting you back even further.
Provide Added Support to Your Injured Area
As you ease back into volleyball after an injury, it is important to take precautions to prevent re-injury. Wearing a brace during volleyball will help provided added stability to the previous injury.
While you may feel ready to play an entire game, give yourself and your body time to get used to jumping, pivoting and diving again. Play just one quarter to one half of the game—if you push too hard right away, you risk hurting yourself again.
Returning to sports after an injury is a slow process, and one that you should take seriously. Always consult with your doctor, and focus on balance, range of motion and slow progress to ensure you return stronger than before.