Hi Totally Netball Family,
Happy New Year!
I hope you are well. I’m Ollie from AT ONE Therapy and Wellbeing.
You may or may not know that my company are partnered with Totally Netball to provide Injury Assessment, Management, Rehabilitation and Advice to you! After working with you for several years now we have started to see some trends in the injuries that Netballers tend to pick up, so we thought what better way to help you then to provide some tailored, Netballer, advice straight to your Inbox.
So, without further waffle, let's get to the good stuff. Today, we are going to talk about Ankles.
Firstly, we need to have a look into Ankle injury rates in Netball to see what we are working with. When you start to investigate the data, it will quickly show you how high the occurrence of Ankle injuries is in Netball. Meta analysis research into Ankle injuries suggest that ankle injuries can make up 13.3-84.3% of all injuries sustained in Netball! Of those Ankle injuries 26.2-36.5% are recurrent injuries (which means they hurt their Ankle …. AGAIN). A whopping 95% of them are sustained during a match, with a lot of the research pointing towards the First and Fourth quarters being the times you are most likely to injure yourself.
Now that all sounds scary right?! But fear not, there is PLENTY you can do to help prepare yourself and look after your ankles to help reduce your chance of Injury. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure or magic exercise that will remove any chance of injury. Sport is full of injury risk, that’s just the name of the game! However, what I would like to do is to outline 3 Key the things you should be doing to help protect your ankles.
I cannot stress enough the importance of a quality warm-up, as mentioned above during a game and (in particular) the first quarter are the most likely times for you to get injured, this is why a warm-up is so vital. You must make sure the body is prepared for what you are about to ask it to do, this is why we created a bespoke netball warm-up that you can complete courtside. The link to this can be found HERE. We designed this for you as we appreciate time and space are a problem before a game, so this is quick and easy, plus you can do it next to the car!
Making sure you have the correct footwear is huge in helping reduce the risk of injury. Poor or incorrect footwear will increase the chance of you slipping or losing footing whilst playing. The research shows that slips, trips, and collisions are the most common ways you can injure yourself in netball, and footwear is a huge factor in reducing this. Wearing running shoes for example would not be the best type as they are far too high and don’t allow for a quick change of direction. Any outdoor netball specific footwear would be the best choice.
FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL (or get hurt in this instance)
Ensure you are in the correct physical and mental shape to play. This is the number 1 way to reduce your injury risk. This includes (but not limited to);
Do not playing through injury.
Do not try to rush back from an injury.
Having poor balance or strength
Not being in the right frame of mind to play.
All these factors are a topic themselves which I’m sure we can elaborate on in further emails, but for today I will just highlight some of the things you can do help this;
Be doing some sort of strength training on days you are not playing, exercises like squats, step-ups, split squats, and deadlifts are great ways to improve your strength and control of the lower limb.
Be doing simple balance drills like single leg balancing whilst brushing your teeth or washing-up, single leg throws and catch against a wall with a ball or a friend and hopping forwards and back or side-to-side. These exercises can help you by improving your balance and strength on one leg to help reduce the risk of you falling during a game.
Getting any injuries assessed and treated correctly to prevent re-injury and ensuring you’re getting the injury fully rehabbed and not rushing back to play (that is where we come in, AT ONE offer a FREE Injury consultation to all Totally Netball players). So do not guess, get it assessed!
Being in a good frame of mind to play – Sport is about fun! Make sure you are enjoying yourself when you’re out there! If you are not, speak with someone or investigate self-help courses like meditation or mindfulness. It is okay to not be okay.
All these things together, will give you a great chance at reducing your risk of ankle injuries. But, as I said at the start, there is no MAGIC cure to this, but good practises in preparation go a LONG way in helping.
So, to RECAP;
Have the right footwear on
Prepare the body for Netball
I hope you have enjoyed reading this and I really hope you can take something away from this email and use it to help look after yourself better! If you do have any further questions, you can contact me on Oliver@t1trainingandrehab.co.uk, any emails will be responded to!
Thanks for your time,