As school athletics and sports leagues around the nation have shut down due to COVID, one sports performance brand is responding. Redline Athletics, specializing in comprehensive athletic development, is well-positioned to meet the needs of athletes post-Covid with their Return to Play program.
We sat down with Redline’s National Director of Sports Performance and Regional Support Specialist, Jenna Morfeld, to learn more about the Return to Play program. Jenna has an extensive background in coaching youth, collegiate, and professional athletes and is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach. As an athlete herself playing collegiate softball, she shared her own experience of returning to the field after an injury and how that has shaped her appreciation of Redline’s program and emphasis on athlete safety and injury prevention.
What is Return to Play?
Return to Play is a holistic re-introduction to competitive physical activity after an injury or a break in training. It is an integral part of Redline Athletics’ extensive programming, designed to prep a player to play their best by implementing a slow progression back to full performance. The benefit? Proper Return to Play greatly minimizes the risk of injury.
One key differentiator with Redline is their focus on movement quality – teaching athletes how to move functionally and efficiently. Their cutting-edge technology takes movement science to the next level to evaluate an athlete’s core movements and help them make improvements to not only increase performance but reduce pain and injury. As athletes return to sports, solidifying that foundation of good movement is critical.
Why is it Important?
The risk of injury after taking a significant break in training or competing increases exponentially. Return to Play prepares the athlete’s whole body to resume physical activity and sets the stage for increased performance on the court or field. An athlete’s body is efficient. Whatever they’re not using – muscular strength, mobility, cardio – they let go of. Fortunately, our bodies also have great recall, allowing them to quickly build back what they’ve lost – when it’s done progressively.
In What Context is Return to Play Normally Used?
At Redline, Return to Play has always been a part of programming for athletes coming back from an injury or a long break. Every athlete who comes through their doors goes through a consultation process to evaluate muscular strength, stability, cardio fitness, and more, in order to establish a baseline. For most athletes coming to Redline, whether for the first time, returning to their sport after a break, or switching sports, Return to Play is their first step. This scaled progression prepares their bodies for activity and can be completely tailored to their needs.
Why is Return to Play Especially Important as Athletes Get Back to Competition Post-COVID?
COVID has presented a unique set of challenges for all of us. For athletes, not only have sports been canceled for several months, but stay-at-home orders and social restrictions have resulted in an unprecedented lack of, or change in, regular activity. Beyond the physical aspects of sports, the mental and emotional preparation for athletes has been completely lacking. Athletes can be frustrated with their level of fitness and agility after months of not playing, and for many, this is their first social activity since March.
But as sports begin to resume, ensuring that athletes are training properly and easing into their programs is more important than ever. For many coaches, there simply isn’t the time or opportunity to facilitate a gradual return. That’s where Redline Athletics is meeting a need; helping athletes, whether at the highly competitive level or newly learning, to properly train to compete at their best.
Interested in learning more about how Redline Athletics is helping athletes in your community? Click now to find your location and help your child Return to Play.