Prepare For Sports in a Post-COVID World
Thanks to the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, we are starting to move toward a post-COVID world; a world in which we can get together again to play sports and cheer on athletes. While it’s great to imagine that everything will just return to normal, it’s likely that sports will never quite be the same as before the pandemic. As an athlete, you need to prepare for changes to how you train, play and take care of yourself.
Before you return to competitive play, take these steps to care for yourself:
Before you even think about training with your team or playing against other teams, you need to get fully vaccinated with one of the three FDA-approved vaccines. To be considered fully vaccinated, you need to wait 2 weeks after you receive your dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Even if you have had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated before returning to play.
Even though you’ve probably continued training throughout the pandemic, chances are you still aren’t at the level you were before. Without competitive play, you might have lost a bit of your edge, a bit of your strength or a bit of your speed. You shouldn’t re-enter play or training expecting to perform the same way you did in 2019.
Instead, start slowly. When conditioning, start with lighter weights or fewer reps. When playing, don’t expect to stay in the whole game. When training, be prepared to take breaks. Pushing yourself too hard, too fast can lead to injuries that take you right back out of the game.
Mind Your Health
Even if you think COVID-19 is gone, it’s not disappeared yet. You are still at risk for infections when around other people, especially when breathing heavily like you do in sports. You have a responsibility to your teammates and other athletes to keep yourself home if you show symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, coughing, fatigue, sore throat or congestion. You shouldn’t return to sports without testing negative for COVID-19.
If you need help rebuilding strength or regaining speed, Bon Secours Sports Performance certified athletic trainers can design a personalized workout plan to help you safely return to your former level of performance. Contact us today to get ready to return to competition.