As players return to the field following an extended period of inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic, MedStar Health professionals Jay Dyer and Kellie Loehr offer some good recommendations for coaches and athletes to help ease the transition.

“As a coach, your job is to build a strong and resilient athlete,” said Dyer, director of sports performance for MedStar Health. “You don’t want to grind your athletes down. Your job is to build them up.”

Dyer encourages coaches to give extra thought to the design of practice and training sessions, with the goal of minimizing the risk of injuries upon the return to activity.

“If you would normally do six drills in a practice, then you should probably focus on just three drills with a lot more rest time in between,” he said. 

Loehr serves as an athletic trainer and community liaison for MedStar Health and recommends that athletes and families spend a little extra time in preparation for events and participation.

“Disinfectant wipes and sprays are really easy to just toss into your equipment bags so that you have them handy,” Loehr said. “Plan as if the location you are going to won’t have any extra supplies.”

Dyer and Loehr shared their preparation tips and practical advice for coaches and players returning to play in a new video produced as part of the US Lacrosse/MedStar Health & Performance Series.

Dyer also notes that sleep, hydration, and nutrition are all important components of proper recovery, and Loehr reminds players that they still have some work to do after their practice or training session concludes.

“Take all your equipment out of your bag when you get home, wipe it all down, and let it air out and dry before you put it back in the bag,” Loehr said. “And definitely, don’t share lacrosse equipment. Everyone should be coming to practice or training with their own equipment, as well as some backups.”

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The Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse seeks to expand, broaden and elevate the safety initiatives that the national governing body has been committed to since its creation in 1998.

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