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Injury is probably the single greatest impediment to maintaining a training program, even in some of the safest sports, like fencing. As an athlete you have been here, or you will, whether it is regularly holding back in practice due to a nagging pain, or missing an entire season due to a traumatic injury.
If you are looking to make a college team, you have about ten years of practice available and a single bad injury can easily cost you 5% of that time in recovery and another 5% in rehab. For older athletes, chronic pain, often managed with a range of drugs, can lead to inconsistent practice and cutting back or stopping physical activity.
Over the years, I have seen athletes repeatedly given physical therapy exercises, either to prevent or rehab an injury, but rarely have they continued those exercises for more than a couple of weeks. The athlete starts with good intentions, but forgets to maintain the exercise as soon as whatever pain prompted the training is gone.
Rather than waiting for injury, I am working to offer an Injury Prevention Class starting in January. I am currently looking for assistance from a sports medicine or physical therapy specialist to help design and monitor the exercise routines to maximize safety and effectiveness. The class would meet twice a week and focus on conditioning the major joints in the arms and legs as well as the core. Whether you want to use it as a three-month preseason conditioning program, or as an ongoing general health maintenance class is up to you.