Whether cheering, umpiring, coaching or playing, many of us love to get involved with Winter sports in Australia.  We really are spoiled for choice in our sports mad nation with a variety of popular winter sports like AFL, Rugby League, Soccer, Running, Netball or Basketball.

The usual increase in the volume and intensity of our chosen sports however, mixed with the more challenging conditions, usually comes with an increase in injuries.  Therefore injury prevention should be at the front of mind at all times, no matter how old you are!


You’d rather avoid an injury altogether, than sit on the sidelines or struggle through rehab for several weeks.  Am I right?  Then there is the hard road back to regain your level of fitness and get your spot back on the team! 

It’s so important to stay fit and healthy throughout the whole season so you can enjoy as much sport as possible.  

Here are 4 general injury prevention techniques you should be including in your regular weekly planning.

1. Warm Up and Warm Down

Both equally important but sometimes overlooked, it is imperative to warm up and down correctly to avoid injury and improve your performance.  Your warm up (approx 15-20mins) should include a gentle activity to circulate blood and oxygen, giving the muscles more energy.  It should also include dynamic and active stretch drills and exercises specific for your sport. 

Your warm down (10-20mins) mustn’t be missed, even when it’s cold outside! A warm down allows the heart to return to its resting state safely, and assists with the elimination of lactic acid and preventing delayed muscle soreness.  Perhaps include a gentle jog or walk and some static stretching.

2. Recovery

Don’t underestimate Recovery.  It’s vitally important to allow your body to recover properly and rebuild itself before your next training session. Factor in rest time throughout the week and work on improving your sleep.

3. Nutrition

It’s important to aim for a balanced diet that is tailored to suit you and your training.  Having a poor diet will stop you from recovering well and make you more susceptible to injury.  If you aren’t sure on what to include see a Nutritionist or Dietitian.

4. Sports Massage and Physiotherapy

As an athlete, you have much greater need to maintain your body and ensure it is always in peak condition.  If muscular or neural tightness is not improved, it can lead to muscular imbalances and a higher risk of injury.  Book in for a regular physio check up and/or massage to flush the muscles of waste products and release any tightness before it turns into a greater issue.


With the netball season well and truly upon us, it is important that we jump into all things injury prevention. 

Netball is a high impact sport that involves high speed bursts of running, frequent changes in direction, sudden stopping and forceful landing. These movements place high demands on the body with injuries occurring predominantly to the knee, ankle, wrist, hands and fingers.

Prevalence of Injury in Netball

  • The rate of injury for netballers is 14 injuries per 1000 hours played. 
  • Netball injuries represent 7% of adult and 4% child sports related injuries admitted to Australian emergency departments.

5 Tips To Prepare you for your Netball Season

  1. Undertake pre-screening by a physiotherapist to identify potential musculoskeletal risk factors that may contribute to an injury in the season
  2. Take part in a fitness program that focuses on cardio, strength, flexibility, agility and power. 
  3. Include skill-specific training into your routine that works on single leg landing, change of direction and catching. 
  4. Complete a dynamic warm up and an active cool down before every training/game. A recent netball study suggested a 48% increased risk of injury if players did not warm up prior to a game
  5. Ensure your footwear is netball appropriate and in good condition

If an Injury Occurs

  • Ensure the injured player seeks quick attention from a qualified first aid provider at the time of the injury. The POLICE analogy can be used for acute injuries (protect, optimal loading, ice, compression, elevation) 
  • Ensure the injured player seeks treatment and a rehabilitation program before they resume playing… this is where your physiotherapist can help! 

Top 3 Exercises for Lower Limb Injury Prevention

Netball is a highly enjoyed sport by many in Australia, however with such a high risk of injury… it is really important to be aware of how you can prevent getting one! 

Our top 3 injury prevention exercises for the lower limbs are below.  

  1. Hop and land (forwards and sideways)
  2. Single leg calf raise
  3. Single leg squat

We’ve put a video together to demonstrate these more clearly.


We hope you can take on board those tips and techniques and you will have a wonderful winter sports season, free from injury! If you have any questions, or find yourself with an injury that needs attention, feel free to contact us and one of our amazing sports physiotherapists or massage therapists will be happy to help!  

We also have a highly experienced Sports Dietitian at SPHC, Erin Brealey, that can offer a nutrition plan tailored for you and your chosen training and sports.

Call us on 3869 1099 or BOOK ONLINE.

For other Winter Injury Prevention tips, read one of our previous blogs –