So Today I thought It would benefit Coaches and Athletes to talk about one of the biggest problems in American Water Polo. Many athletes I have coached or known have been injured or regularly play with pain. This problems plagues most teams and can easily be reversed and even solved.
Here is a list of the most common injurie sites and pain patterns created from playing Water Polo:
These common problems all have a common symptom: OVERUSE. Now overuse is just a symptom of the problem not THE problem.
“Water Polo Results in a number of acute traumatic and overuse injuries” (Mota and Ribero 2012)
Overuse is a repeated pattern or movement that now has resulted in a negative change in movement quality, motor ability, or/and tissue quality. In coach terms this means, too much swimming and shooting will/can result in the development of pain or even injuries in our athletes. Now if you add on top of the amount of swimming, shooting, and time spent in an eggbeater, the possible coaches who have their athletes do push ups, deck ups, or egg beater (all movements which are the same as swimming, shooting, and eggbeatering); we have a lot of the same type of work done day in and day out by our athletes. This will result in the athletes bodies breaking down or compensating for the lack of mobility, motor control, and increase of fatigue of the muscles regularly used.
But what is being done about this overuse?
Usually nothing, we as coaches and athletes usually just continue to play with pain or are forced to stop because of injury. There are some who are trying to combat this, but simply don't know how. This is mostly for two reasons. Reason #1, we don't have a firm understanding of the Kinesiology behind exercise. And Reason #2, the overuse is not the problem.
The real problem is our HABITS as coaches and players.
The habits we have as a community that are creating overuse are:
In my first Season at Jesuit High School as their Strength/Assistant Coach for Boys Water Polo, we went from having athletes constantly complaining about pain and missing practice over summer to an injury free season.
This was possible because we changed these changed habits.
Check back this week as I discuss how we changed this habits and how you too can make these changes!
Also if you would like the same Mobility Program that our boys follow, you can purchase yours here: Water Polo Mobility Program.
B.A., CSCS, USAW-1, FMS LVL 1