Preventing Injury: By Lee Parnell

We’re lucky to have Lee Parnell making a guest appearance on the blog today. Brightonian Lee is an excellent massage therapist, a keen beach volleyballer and the proud owner of Olive the dog. Lee offers massage therapy at the Body Hub, next to Yellowave beach centre on the Brighton beachfront. He was also the massage therapist at the Continental Cup first round in London this year, treating top players from around Europe-he knows his stuff! I’m hugely grateful to Lee for sharing his expertise… Without further ado, then, here are his 3 top tips for avoiding injury this winter.

Keeping with Fireball’s wintery theme, I thought I’d start my top tips with the most crucial one for any winter training or game play:

1. Warm Up Properly

most of us are guilty of just grabbing a ball, throwing it around a bit and then getting into a pepper while we chat about our week. We often start our matches being under prepared and needing the first 10 points to get focused. A couple of simple changes can make all the difference and get you firing from the first point! So my top tip is to ask Santa for two sets of exercise bands. One of the long thin Theraband kind which you can tie to the posts and use to warm up your whole shoulder complex, including your rotator cuff. The second one is the loop, or mini-band style which are used for putting around the legs, just above the knee. This can be used to help get the glutes firing, which helps you feel more engaged in the ready position and leads to a more explosive jump for hitting and blocking.

2. Stretcccccch

It’s amazing how often people come to see me for treatment, and the first thing they say is “I know I should stretch more”. Just a few key stretches of the main muscles around the shoulders and hips can have a real impact if done regularly. You will all have seen lots, and if you aren’t sure there are loads of great resources on Youtube, or you could come to one of my workshops……. (More information below)

3. Rolllll

Dust off the foam roller and start using it! I’m sure lots of you already own a foam roller. You might have used it once or twice. You probably found it really painful and so you found a nice spot on top of the wardrobe to keep it out of the way. There is no way to use a roller without a little discomfort but you can make it more bearable by shifting your bodyweight and using your arms and legs to offset your weight. Different areas of the body will need different amounts of pressure so it’s just about learning to use it effectively.
These are just a few simple points that will go a long way to keep you fit, healthy and playing at your best. If you’d like more information or advice about how to do these things properly please do get in touch.

Thanks Lee!

With all of these things, it’s about getting yourself into good habits. Arriving 10 minutes before your game is supposed to start, so that you can warm up; stretching while you watch the telly in the evening; putting the foam roller somewhere that you will see it, and then use it. It doesn’t take much, but it will really help prevent injury in the long term. Remember- fewer injuries = more volleyball!

Lee is running a workshop from 1:30-3:30 on Sunday the 19th December 2019 in the Yellowave clubhouse. It will cover much of the above in more detail and includes some yoga specifically for volleyballers. There are a few tickets left which can be purchased here.

Have you got any more tips you’d like to share? Please do comment below if you do!

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