How yoga could reduce your risk of injury

When did you start working with footballers?
I played professionally in Italy and Sweden but had to quit after suffering a bad ACL injury. Once I knew my playing career was over, I wanted to do something that would help players physically and emotionally. I never had a support person there who could help me with both of those things. I studied physiotherapy and then did a masters in sports science. By my second years I was already working in academies and it’s just progressed from there. 

What common problems injury problems do you encounter with players?
When I’m working with academy players, I find they still have a good range of flexibility and range of motion. But from the age of 16 or 17, the upper body starts growing in a totally different way. The spine grows and often you find players will get growth-related injuries. Strength training is then introduced, which means an increase in muscle mass, which can stiffen the muscles. Around that age when you introduce yoga, it really complements the strength and power work that they do, so when they turn 20, 21 or 22, there isn’t any stiffness. 

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