How Jake Overcame Football Injuries By Strength Training
Over the last 6 months, I’ve been working with Jake McCrann to help him overcome some football injuries.
He was getting to the stage of his footballing career that he was starting to get frustrated with niggles and strains.
And he didn’t want to start the new season worried about when the next hamstring issue was going to pop up.
Now the McCrann family are well established within the Boyle Celtic community for as long as you could remember.
Jake has been a regular for Boyle Celtic, and of course his brother Brian, he kicks a ball well too.
(Let’s not forget their cousins, the Goldricks, although they are more synonymous with yellow and red cards).
So when Jake chatted me about his injuries, I was definitely up for trying to help out.
And today, Jake is going to give us a bit about his progress so far.
Here he is:
What injuries were you struggling with before starting training in StrongLife?
“The main issue I was having was with my hamstrings.
I’ve had a number of strains and tears over the years and the last one which happened at the start of last season.
For the remainder of the season (about 7 months), I never felt like my hamstrings were 100%.
Playing matches, I felt that I couldn’t sprint at full pace out of fear of straining them more, so I always felt like I was holding back, even though I had more to give.
Even so, after playing a game or training sessions, my hamstrings would feel very tight for a few days afterwards.”
Had you any reservation about lifting weights for football?
“I definitely had some reservations about lifting weights, but this was mostly out of a lack of knowledge on the subject as I had never been much of a gym goer.
Pace has always been an attribute that I have relied on while playing football, and my biggest worry was that by lifting weights on a consistent basis, I would start to bulk up and become heavier which would lead to me losing pace.”
How has strength training made a difference to you?
“Since beginning with strength training, I have definitely gained more confidence on the pitch.
By working on the strength in my hamstrings, I can push myself harder without having the fear of straining them again.
I also have far more confidence going into tackles because I feel stronger and am not being pushed off the ball as easily before.
I can get around the pitch much faster now, and I seem to have far more endurance in my legs than before I started strength training regularly, which means I can push myself right until the end of the game.
Naturally, I still feel general muscle stiffness after playing, but I have noticed a massive improvement in my recovery as the pain is not solely focused on my hamstrings and doesn’t last for more than a day.”
Besides football, has it made any other difference?
“Truthfully, it has made a real difference in terms of my mental well-being.
I have had a very tough year, and going to the gym has given me so much needed structure in my life.
It is something that I can do for myself, and challenge myself with, and I find myself looking forward to going.
It gives me a great sense of accomplishment every time I complete a program or advance my reps/weights and can see and feel a noticeable difference.”
Finally, Would you recommend StrongLife and why?
“I would definitely recommend StrongLife.
I’ve been extremely impressed with my results so far and that’s coming from someone who had never been a gym goer before and had no idea what to do or expect.
I was nervous at the start but it’s been a brilliant environment to learn and Colm really made me feel at ease there straight away.
He listened to what I wanted to achieve from the gym and took the time to explain to me how to achieve this.
He always makes sure to take the time to explain the proper technique for each exercise, and why he has me doing it.
I feel comfortable in the programs he makes for me as he’s been attentive to my progress and knows which areas I need to improve on.
It helps that the atmosphere in there is always very cheerful and relaxed, and you can be guaranteed to have a laugh each time you go in.”
When Jake first came in struggling with hamstrings, my go-to was to get him moving better.
A common theme with players and hamstring issues is lack of mobility in their hips.
And this was the case with case.
General stiffness through the posterior chain, hamstrings, glutes and ever upper back.
But as the weeks went by, Jake took all advice on board and was moving so much better in a short time.
And once he began to move better, he started to notice the niggles slowly erode away.
Once he hit into the season, I made sure his gym work ensure he recovered from matches at weekends and also kept his legs fresh going into games.
Like anything, I’ve had to adapt things along the way.
But Jake made sure to keep me in the loop when it came to how his body was feeling.
It’s much easier to give someone a light week than risk having them stuck on the physio table.
And thankfully, after 6 months, Jake is putting on Maldini masterclasses at centre back for Boyle Celtic.
(Just don’t heed him if he tells you he’d rather play midfield or if he asks you do you play centre back!).
Within the Boyle community, we all appreciate the tough year the McCranns have had.
So it’s very satisfying for me to be able to help out in any way that gives Jake some positives.
Football is something that’s in Jake’s blood, so I’m happy to make sure he gets to keep on playing and stays injury free.
Not only that, but he’s possibly one of the nicest lads you could meet, although Gary will probably say otherwise!
He’s a fantastic addition to the gym here and is always welcome.
And he even tried dragging a few other footballers in, but that’s a work in progress.
Now Jake, if you could just bang one in the top corner so I can take some credit, that’d be great!
Keep up the good work.
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