Sometimes it is possible to predict years ahead which players are going to run into trouble, often early in their playing career, and sometimes in a devastating fashion. Some commen problems are:



1. Tight Leg Muscles and Tendons.

In my experience, at age 14, the boys with tight hamstrings are the ones most likely to run into knee problems early in their senior careers, and suffer back pain by age 30. Correcting these and related problems are not a matter of a few stretches on game day .. in fact pre-game stretches may do more harm than good. Correction of lower limb muscle tightness is a long-term project to be performed under the guidance of a sport's physiotherapist and/or sports podiatrist. It requires motivation and is best done off-season.



2. Feet and Associated Biodynamics.

Possibly the most neglected and unappreciated cause of problems. Any player with chronic foot, ankle, calf, shin, knee, hamstring, groin, hip or low back problems .. think feet. Find a podiatrist interested in athletes' problems and refer regularly.



3. Muscle Imbalances

Some players will over-strengthen some muscle groups and neglect others resulting in, for example, unbalanced knee dynamics and pain. Identification of this problem is a sophisticated physiotherapy issue.



4. Core Stability.

Over-rotation during kicking etc can be the problem behind chronic groin strain. Find a physiotherapist interested in core-stability exercises.