The playing season is about to kick off for many players, with challenge games and leagues commencing shortly. Most have been working on their strength and conditioning, and aerobic work for some time.
One area that gets little attention for many players in field sports is flexibility and agility. Within the next few weeks, we will have a lot of players coming in with muscle conditions brought on by the demands of these early matches and their lack of flexibility. In our experience, teams who start to run into injury trouble find it very hard to get the momentum they need for a sustained effort at winning championships.
More progressive clubs will have conducted fitness and screening tests at the beginning of the season which gives players a bench mark to work from. Some of these test can easily be performed at home using resources from the internet examining range of movement, agility, etc.
We should all be working on our flexibility at any rate, but if you are a player and feel it is not getting the attention it needs at training, consider supplementing this with stretching and/or pilates. If you know what you are doing, this can easily be done at home on a mat, even after you get home from training. Hold the poses and stretches for longer than you would on a cold, wet pitch (try for at least 45-60 secs). Don'y let your own lack of preparation be the cause of your injuries.