Warming up and strength and flexibility training is an important part of sports participation at all levels, including for children. These activities can help prevent injuries and improve performance in your chosen field.
A programme called P.E.P. (Prevent injury and Enhance Performance) is one such programme that is useful for court and field activities such as basketball, soccer and football. It is also becoming increasingly popular to help prevent reinjury following knee reconstruction surgery.
The P.E.P. programme has 5 main components and takes around 15-20 minutes to complete. Initially it may take longer to complete until participants and supervisors/coaches become familiar with it. Care should be taken to perform all activities as described and with children participating the repetitions may need to be reduced initially to prevent fatigue/injury.
CHILDREN MUST BE SUPERVISED AT ALL TIMES WHEN PERFORMING THIS PROGRAMME.
The components of the P.E.P. programme are:
- Jog line to line
- Shuttle run
- Backward running
- Figure-4 hamstring
- Inner thigh
- Hip flexor
- Walking lunges
- Russian hamstrings
- Single toe-raises
4. Plyometrics (Children can perform plyometrics but initially speed and repetitions should be significantly reduced so as to reduce the risk of injury and supervision must enforce technique)
- Lateral hops
- Forward/backward hops
- Single leg hops
- Vertical jumps
- Scissors jump
- Shuttle run with forward/backward running
- Diagonal runs
- Bounding run
Please refer to the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation guidelines for a detailed description of the above activities and repetitions along with a printable version of the full programme. See below video examples of the P.E.P. programme from YouTube.