Strength is pretty easy to quantify, you can look at the numbers and see if you’re lifting high volume or big weights and see what the progress is as clear as day.
Aerobic fitness is handy to keep an eye on too. 100m, 200m, 400m. All the runs you do at training can be timed and held up against the previous times you’ve ran and you can see if you’re in a better or worse place after every run.
Mobility on the other hand is trickier to pin down.
For me it’s only when you stop doing the work that you really notice the benefits it was bringing to your game. I’ve strung together two weeks of yoga in a row for the first time this year and I can say hand on heart I’m embarrassed how badly I let myself go.
I prioritised other avenues of training and neglected my mobility. The results? I was picking up little niggles left, right and centre. I generally ached more from day to day, and physical positions that at one time wouldn’t even fall into the category of challenging became nearly impossible.
This is the business end of our season, championship is on and there are leagues to be won and relegation to be fended off! With season defining games at every turn around I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that you stay injury free. You can’t play well if you’re injured and can’t play at all!
There will never – barring dealing with a current injury – a bad time to jump in to a yoga class. One hour per week will help but as with everything else the more you apply it the better the results, so take what you’re learning from those classes and spend some time every day working on whatever area you feel you’re falling short in.
Poor hip mobility? Ten measly minutes a day working the hip joint. Poor hamstring mobility? Give them ten minutes a day.
If you’ve time to watch the new series of Peaky Blinders then you’ve time to do some stretching and a little foam rolling. It could be the difference between playing the game of your life and pulling up with an injury the in the first minute of the contest.
Don’t fall into the same trap as I did and think that it’s something you can get by without doing.
You want to be driving to work on Monday morning thinking about the great game you played over the weekend, not trying to distract yourself from the pain of your sore hip and praying your hamstring doesn’t spasm and send you hurtling toward oncoming traffic.
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