Odisha FC’s Head Physiotherapist Dr. Firoz Shaikh has highlighted the importance of injury assessment during the ongoing pre-season training of the players in Goa. Firoz is a well-known Indian sports physio and sports scientist. Before joining the Bhubaneswar-based side ahead of the seventh season of the Hero ISL last year, he also worked with Hero ISL side NorthEast United, PKL team Puneri Paltan and many state federations including Maharashtra Cricket Association and Maharashtra Olympic Association.
Speaking to the OFC Media Team, Dr. Firoz explained, “Football pre-season training and injury assessment is essential in the preparations for the next season. A player will need to be at peak fitness for the season ahead, as he becomes involved in ongoing competitions. Preseason training allows to build solid fitness foundations, improve technical ability, and ultimately ensure optimum performance.
“After a break and body recharge following last season, your body will need to regain its fitness to ensure you’re ready for the season ahead, without slow starts and to prevent injuries. Your body needs to be fully prepared for the physical demands of competitive sport. For example, being able to run that extra yard during a football game could be the difference between winning and losing.”
When asked about the benefits of strength and flexibility training, the head physio of the Club replied, “A pre-season training program will encompass strength and flexibility training. Strength training will build muscle strength and improve your overall fitness. Flexibility training will allow your joints to move through a full range of motion and improve your physical performance. These body conditioning exercises also help to prevent future injury.”
“Initially this period allows for general preparation of your whole body whilst not focussing on sport-specific skills to acquire a base level of fitness, regain the strength your sport demands, and to build cardiovascular endurance.”
After completing his Bachelor in Physiotherapy (BPT) from CMFs College of Physiotherapy, he did his post-graduation from Dr. DY Patil College of Physiotherapy in Pune. This will be his second season working for the Kalinga Warriors and he is all pumped up to give his best to ensure that the players have a good time on the pitch.
Explaining more about the timing and duration of the pre-season training, Firoz mentions, “Pre-season training allows you time to spend working on your weaknesses, increasing your tactical skills, and improving your technical ability. For example, in football you may practice drills including ball control, heading, dribbling, passing, and shooting. If you’re a floor gymnast you will practice the technique of your rolls, cartwheels, and handstands within a routine to perfect them. This work is performed within the boundaries of your physical ability. You can fine-tune your training and work towards specific goals.”
“Early diagnosis of sports injuries may prevent further or permanent damage. Athletes often think they can play through their pain and ignore the signs of injury. Pain is produced by the body to let you know something is wrong. It can either be acute (short-lived) or chronic (long-term pain). Ignoring these pain signals can result in: escalating the damage to muscles, joints, and tendons, and moving from an easily treatable injury to a chronic condition that could lead to permanent damage.”
“If you have a niggling injury that was bothering you last season and has been troubling you during your pre-season training, then it’s time to seek professional advice. You can speak to a physiotherapist for an assessment and advice. They can refer you on to an orthopedic specialist if needed.”
Apart from Dr. Firoz Shaikh, OFC also has assistant physio Naved Hameed who worked with the Club’s youth teams before he joined the first team last season. The medical team has the experience and they are working day in and day out to ensure the players stay fit and fine throughout the long Hero Indian Super League season.
“At Odisha FC, we have years of specialist experience. They offer rapid access to convenient and local appointments where you will receive a full assessment of your sports injury. You can benefit from education and self-help programs, a wide range of modern physiotherapy equipment, and the latest evidence-based treatments,” Dr. Firoz Shaikh concluded.