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Tips for the Return of Contact Sport

By Matthew Ho

It has been a long year, particularly given the lack of proper training available to people during lockdown. Melbourne residents have been unable to participate in contact training for over 8 months! One could be forgiven for feeling as though AFL, soccer, boxing, basketball and a raft of other sports would never comeback whilst the dreaded Covid-19 was still lurking within the community. Thankfully, there was a collective sigh of relief this week as the Victorian government confirmed that contact training is back as of Monday 23rd of November.

Amidst the excitement, amateur sports enthusiasts will have to be careful when returning to their chosen sport. A small amount of planning will help to avoid injury, ensure efficient skill progression and will help foster the continued improvement of sport specific fitness. Here are some things to consider when returning to your chosen sport.

Gradual Return

Do not come back to contact training with the same frequency and/or intensity as when you left 8 months ago. It will take some time for your body to adapt to the ‘new’ training and coming back too fast will increase the likelihood of injury. Reduce the amount of sessions per week, the length of sessions or the intensity of sessions (or all three) to ensure you stay injury free. Build up slowly over the ensuing 1-2 months.

Warm Up…

Place more emphasis on your warm-up in the first few weeks to avoid unwanted soft tissue injuries

And Cool Down/Recover

This will ensure your body is feeling better for your next session. Stretching, self-massage/foam rolling and ice will help to ensure you avoid too many aches and pains in the days after training


Try to ensure you get your body into a routine as early as possible. Try to start regular sessions as well as propagating the warm up/cooldown habit.

Check Your Equipment!

Spend some time before your first session checking through the relevant equipment. There is nothing worse than forgetting a key piece of kit and then having to miss out during parts of training. Things to remember: mouthguard, tape, braces for the joints, water and some anti-bacterial soap!

Enjoy Being Back 

Take the time to smell the roses (or sweat/liniment!) If this period has taught us anything, it’s that we should be thankful for the little things: shopping, time with family/friends, time outside. So enjoy it!

If you need a hand in your return to sport, contact us at 9459 5849 or book an appointment online.

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