This year our team almost completely avoided the “injury bug” while increasing the amount of time we scrimmage at practice significantly. The only injuries we sustained were bumps and bruises and one rolled ankle. I believe our “luck” at avoid injuries had to do with three changes we made this year.

1. An increased commitment to the weight room. We have always lifted weights in and out of season. This year we were really dedicated to it. We had the best buy-in in the weight room we have ever had by utilizing a system that players could always shoot for a record or max. We competed in weight room rather than just lifting weights. We rarely found a week that “wasn’t a good week to lift”.

2. Shorter and fewer practices. We hardly ever went two hours on the floor. Our practices ranged from 75-105 minutes and the 75 minute practices were some of our best! Practices were up tempo, efficient and competitive. Our team remained physically and mentally sharp throughout the season. The “wear and tear” of the long season never really caught up to us.

3. A dedication to more sleep. Our team recognized that they needed more rest to perform at their best. We often made a weekly commitment to have everyone in bed before 10 pm.

There are tons of factors that can help your team avoid the injury bug. These were the big emphasis for us this year and it paid big dividends.