HOW TO AVOID INJURY: OLYMPIC JAVELIN CHAMPION THOMAS RÖHLER’S TOP TIPS by Olympic.org news
Like most elite athletes, Thomas Röhler has battled through his share of nagging injuries. However, the 25-year-old German Olympic javelin champion attributes much of his sporting success to managing to stay mostly injury free throughout his career.
Javelin throwers require core and upper body strength along with agility and athleticism. Building momentum in their approach, world-class competitors release the 2.6-metre long javelin at speeds approaching 115 km/h (71mph).
Power and intensity are essential, but without the proper strength and flexibility, javelin throwers are prone to injury. The event’s explosive and sudden motions add to the risk factor.
Röhler won a gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 with a clutch throw of 90.30 metres on his fifth attempt, narrowly missing Andreas Thorkildsen’s Olympic record of 90.57m.
Here, he provides his five tips for athletes to avoid injuries.
Listen to your body
“Listen to your body from the beginning of what you’re doing in sport. You need to learn to read the signs your body gives you in terms of pain, in terms of needs, in terms of food and in giving feedback to your coach.”
Let your coach know how you are feeling
“It’s important as a young athlete not to hide the problems. Your coach should have the overall structure; he should have the whole picture because if he only sees you and you don’t tell him, he only has half the picture. It’s important to give good feedback and find the right words for him regarding your training.”
“It doesn’t mean that you need to sleep a lot, but you need to sleep well. You need to be 100 per cent awake when it comes to performance. Everybody should understand this. You should go to sleep when you feel it and not when others decide for you to go to sleep.”
“Most injuries happen when you’re not focused and not concentrating on what you want to do. For example, we look for gymnastic movements that are whole body movements, involving lots of movements in a really short period of time. Javelin is a really risky event and it’s important to focus on these seconds and minutes.”
Give your body a chance to rest
“In my opinion, and from talking to other international athletes, it is sometimes more important to have a deliberate rest, rather than having a hard training session, especially in-season.
“Some athletes think they need to train all day and keep going really close to the competitions to have their best results, but we found out it is more important to listen to the body, give it a chance to rest and relax the muscles.
“The mental side is also really important. If I throw every day, my mind will get bored of the javelin and I don’t want that. Be prepared. Prepare yourself by resting.”