The Importance of Active Recovery in Youth Sports

girls soccer

With fall sports starting up in the next few weeks many athletes are dusting off their equipment and getting ready for the their season.  Pre-season training can be the most intense because it is preparing the athlete for their optimal performance during the season.  Unfortunately, this can be the time that many athletes get injured and end up rehabilitating throughout the season.  The main problem is that most sports programs do not incorporate an active recovery program into their training.

Active recovery is utilized by elite athletes because they understand the importance of recovery in improving performance.  Physical and performance growth often occurs during the recovery phase vs. the training phase.  Here are some tips to incorporate into your youth athletes active recovery program.

  1. Rest – Make sure your youth athlete is getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night in order to let the body repair the damage incurred by the training.
  2. Hydrate – In Arizona this is critical considering how hot it is in the early parts of the fall season.  Also make sure your athlete replenishes the electrolytes lost during exercise.
  3. Nutrition – You truly are what you eat.  Exercise and training in season significantly breaks down protein.  Consider increasing your child’s protein intake daily to about 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
  4. Active stretching – As muscle fibers are repaired the grow tight, increasing stress on ligaments and joints.  Active stretching helps elongate these fibers and increases blood flow for tissue repair
  5. Incorporate Balance and Coordination Exercises – Proper balance and coordination is important to helping the body move efficiently and safely.  This reduces the risk of injury with awkward movements.
  6. Range of Motion – Our joints are designed to work within a certain range of motion to work optimally.  Athletes with stiff and lax joints are at higher risk of injury.
  7. Functional Strength/Core Stability – During the season it is important to maintain strength.  Strength training programs should still be maintained, but modified from the typical off season training program.

By incorporating this programming into your youth athletes training you can help optimize their performance, improve their recovery, and reduce the risk of injury.  Be on the lookout for the launch of Rehab Plus Ahwatukee’s Recovery Programs.

Rehab Plus voted Best of Ahwatukee 5 years in a row!

1st place 2013

Rehab Plus Ahwatukee went through some big changes in 2013….literally.  They moved their office from a 3000 sq. ft. location to an over 9000 sq. ft. location.  Their main focus with this move was to keep that fun, friendly and professional atmosphere that Ahwatukee had come to expect and expand their service offerings to the community.  Well if anything is a good barometer of how you’re doing, the annual Ahwatukee Foothills News “Best of” publication asks the community for their feedback.

Over the years Rehab Plus Ahwatukee has consistently rated a Best of Ahwatukee in 2 categories “Best Place for Physical Therapy/Rehab” and “Best Place to get a Massage”.  This year they placed 1st in not only 2, but 3 categories!  For 2013 Rehab Plus Ahwatukee placed 1st in “Best Place for Physical Therapy/Rehab”,  “Best Place to get a Massage”, and “Best Place to Workout”!  They also were awarded 2nd place out of all Ahwatukee Businesses for “Best Customer Service”!  No other business in Ahwatukee was awarded such accolades for 2013.

Rehab Plus would like to thank the Ahwatukee community, patients, clients and friends for taking the time to vote this year.  The bar has now been set high for them in 2014 and Rehab Plus is thankful for the opportunity to serve you!

Rehab Plus “Best of Ahwatukee 2013”!

2013 best of

Thank you to all our patients and friends that voted us a Best of Ahwatukee, in 5 categories!  We have been notified that we are a Best of Ahwatukee in:

Best Physical Therapy/Rehab

Best Place to get a Massage/Reflexology

Best Place to Work Out

Best Customer Service

and Best Place to Work (thank you staff!)

Thank you to those that went on Ahwatukee Foothills News Website and voted for us.  We are very honored to be able to work with so many great people and look forward to continuing to live up to your expectations in 2014!

Best of Ahwatukee 2013


Ahwatukee Foothills News  puts on their annual “Best of ” contest and ever since we
have been open in Ahwatukee we have been voted a “Best of Physical Therapy”.
This year, with your help, will not be an exception.  Voting raps up on
12/22/2013 for the this year’s Best of Physical Therapy, Best Massage, and Best Personal Training.  Help us
out again this year by going to Ahwatukee Foothills News and vote
“Rehab Plus” for Best Physical Therapy, Best Massage, Best Personal Training. Thank you for your
support and happy holidays!

Thanks to making our Open House a Success!

Thank you everyone for joining us during our Open House.  We had a great turnout and even had Ahwatukee Foothills News join us, check out their article.    We are excited about our new location and all the services that we can now bring to the Ahwatukee community.  This past week we have already launched our Group Fitness Training with our “Kick Start” program and our kids programming.  If you are interested in learning more call our Rehab Plus Ahwatukee location.

Rehab Plus Ahwatukee Open House RSVP November 12, 2013 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm


Please join us as we celebrate the Grand Opening of our new 9000 sq. ft. location in Ahwatukee.  We are still located at 4730 E. Warner Rd. in Ahwatukee, we have only moved to Suite 5.  Feel free to bring as many guests as you would like.  We will be serving food and drink and having some great door prize giveaways!  Simply fill out this RSVP and you will be automatically be entered into our door prize drawing!

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Rehab Plus Ahwatukee New Location GRAND OPENING!

While Rehab Plus Ahwatukee Physical Therapy has been providing physical therapy in Ahwatukee since 2009 and has consecutively been rated a “Best of Ahwatukee” every year. We are sad to announce that we have to be moving on……….to a much, MUCH BIGGER LOCATION!!!

We aren’t moving far, just a few doors down and are happy to announce we will have one of the biggest, if not the BIGGEST PHYSICAL THERAPY LOCATION IN AHWATUKEE! OVER 9000 sq. ft.!!!

LOCATED AT 4730 E. WARNER RD. SUITE 5 (Next to ACE Hardware)

 Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten the roots that have gotten us to be one of the preferred physical therapy providers in Ahwatukee. We will still provide the personalized care that our patients have come to appreciate and expect.

 But now you can expect more from us, including:

Sports Performance Training

 Personal Training and Nutrition

 Group style fitness training

 Youth Sports Training Camps

 ….and much much more!!!


-Food and Beverages served

-Door Prizes

-Special Guest Consultants for Nutrition and Sports PerformanceRSVP

Get psyched for Sport!

Get Psyched for Sport!

Dr. Jim Afremow

Your mind is what makes everything else work.

~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA legend


Sports psychology is the scientific understanding of the mental side of human excellence. Sports psychology services are highly praised and utilized across all sports, because of the equal importance of the mental and physical aspects of the athletes. As Yogi Berra said, “90% of sport is half mental.” Numerous research studies and anecdotal reports from world champions and gold medalists over the past 25 years confirm that sports psychology techniques may significantly improve an athlete’s performance.

It is highly recommended that all athletes should develop mental as well as physical skills to play their best more consistently, experience greater enjoyment, and increase their chances of victory. In a competitive environment, superior mental strength and stamina offers a huge advantage and leads to a higher success rate.

A few key mental skills valuable for athletic success are outlined below:

  • Confidence
  • Concentration
  • Motivation
  • Emotional control
  • Intensity regulation
  • Mental toughness/resilience
  • Communication

Mental training tools that are extremely effective include:

  • Goal-setting
  • Imagery
  • Self-talk
  • Breathing control
  • Relaxation/energizing
  • Body language
  • Power statements

When then can an athlete benefit from working with a sports psychologist? In order to enhance their performance from a mental standpoint, athletes can benefit at any time from sports psychology. Young athletes can get a “head start” by developing their mental strength and stamina early on rather than waiting until college or beyond. Elite athletes can maintain their competitive edge by honing their mental skills to a razor’s edge. Specific scenarios when athletes can benefit greatly from sports psychology services include:

  • When an athlete wants to see how great they can play a sport, and reach their true and full potential, by fine-tuning his/her game mentally and emotionally.
  • When experiencing a mental block, performance plateau, prolonged slump, demotion, or injury.
  • When personal or interpersonal issues or concerns, are interfering with the athletes’ performance.

Your mental ability can either hold you down (e.g., fear of failure) or elevate your performance (e.g., high confidence level). All athletes should strive to master their mind rather than being mastered by their mind. Every athlete can learn to think as a champion and take their performance to the next level by improving in one or more of the following areas:

  • How the athlete prepares (training mindset)
  • How the athlete competes (trusting mindset)
  • How the athlete manages the moment (full presence)
  • How the athlete deals with results (performance debriefing)
  • How the athlete communicates with others (leadership and teamwork)
  • How the athlete decompresses away from sports (stress management)

In sum, sports psychology boosts the mental side of any athlete’s performance. A sports psychologist works collaboratively with an athlete to identify the challenge(s) he/she is facing, increase self-awareness about what is working/not working, assist the athlete in finding the best solution(s) to the issues confronting him/her, and build his/her mental skills and strategies to put the athlete mentally in charge and accomplish their goals – no matter how bold or difficult those goals may be. In other words, a sports psychologist plays a parallel role with the coaches and sports medicine team, and is pivotal in helping athletes to achieve their true and full potential.

Dr. Jim Afremow works with many high school, college, and professional athletes across all sports and will be collaborating with Rehab Plus Ahwatukee Physical Therapy.  He is available to help you take your game up multiple levels. He can be reached at (602) 999-4168 or His website is


The count-down continues!

Rehab Plus Ahwatukee Physical Therapy will soon be moving to its new home!  Don’t worry it is only about 300 feet from our current location.  We are excited about our new location because we not only are going to a much, MUCH, bigger space, but we will be offering a lot more services to meet the needs of Ahwatukee! We will be constantly updating you on the progress and let you know when we are having our GRAND OPENING!  Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our progress and announcements.

Here are some of the picks on our progress:

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