You warm up on the sand, just like how the AVP pros do it. But you’re not a pro. (At least not yet.) The athletes on the AVP circuit are in constant training and have rigorous plans to prevent injuries on- and off- the court. We sat down with one of the doctors who treats the pros to learn what it actually means to take care of your body.
Fine Tuning Your Body
“A lot of it has to do with the education of the athlete on the regular wear and tear that takes place,” said Dr. Chad Beauchamp (pictured below), owner and founder of Repair Sports Institute in Huntington Beach, Calif. “If you drove your car 100,000 miles without ever changing your tires or the oil, it’s not going to run very well come that 100,000 miles. Our goal is to get that analogy across to our athletes and get them to understand it’s not just about weightlifting or strength training. There’s a heavy dose of nutrition and recovery to prevent injury.”
In beach volleyball, it’s easy to wreck a shoulder or torque the body into a pulled muscle, and while the professional athletes have access to the highest level of injury prevention and training tips, the fundamentals are the same for everybody.
“We have physical therapy, chiropractor (work), acupuncture, sports massage, meditation, yoga, nutrition,” Beauchamp said. “Our goal is to have a one-stop shop for mind, body, and spirit. We are heavily going into energy-based stuff, addressing the mind and overall body sources.”
“As an athlete, you’re highly wound up and then there’s a lot of downtime. You need to make sure the body and mind are balanced out during those recovery phases (in between matches) so you’re best prepared for the next battle (Stadium Court against the 1 seed at 3:05!).”
Beauchamp can run down a litany of injury prevention and training tips, but when the high-end athletes arrive, everything is cranked up a notch…or five.
“If we’re talking to the general population, sure there are some tips there, but when it comes down to a specific high-level athlete, such as one of our Olympians coming in, we’re doing a very thorough head-to-toe functional movement screen,” Beauchamp said. “We’re asking specific questions, like symptoms and if they are limited in their sport due to specific pain or weakness. Then we’re diving in and doing our own high-level scoring system to flush out some of these areas that could lead to further injury.”
“We’re breaking down those impairments and fixing them one by one and piecing them back together. Our mission is not to bring the athlete to where they were before, but to bring them above and beyond and get them to be an overall better athlete.”
In other words, there is a lot more than the old stretch-and-play routine that anyone can apply on and off the court.