Fall is in full swing. With the start of the school year comes the start of fall sports. Athletes all around the country are competing for touchdowns, goals and first-place finishes. Everyone knows that training and preparation are keys to peak performance. What often goes unrecognized, is the importance of conditioning to prevent sports injuries.

When an athlete is under-prepared for action, they are much more likely to get injured. In addition, technique drops precipitously when one is fatigued. So what might have been a killer move around a defender to score a goal turns into a turnover or even an injury such as an ankle sprain or hamstring strain when an athlete hasn’t done the work before the game.

So what can you do to set yourself up for success?

– Conditioning during the off-season.
Find recreational leagues to play in before the season starts, or play a different sport that involves similar cardiovascular demands. For instance, a football player may play basketball over the summer to stay in shape.

– Sport-specific equipment
Make sure your footwear and other equipment is specific for your sport of choice. For instance, baseball cleats are not a good choice for soccer, or cross-training shoes are not made for cross-country running

– Hydrate
Not drinking enough water is a sure way to drop your performance. Your body relies heavily on staying hydrated for peak performance, particularly as the match wears on and your muscles start to fatigue.

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