The Transition From High Intensity Sports For Athletic Adults

As we age there are physiological changes that occur, such as decreased elasticity of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.  Sports that involve rapid starting and stopping place increased forces on our bodies thus increased risk for injury.  These physiological changes occur in our third decade, and continue throughout our life.  This is why there are few professional athletes in their late thirties or older.  Individuals can participate in higher level athletics at and over thirty, but this requires regular high intensity training followed by adequate rest. Proper warm up and cool down is essential too.   However, without the proper training regimen, the higher risk of injury is still present.  And this risk of injury increases Tidewater Physical Therapyevery year.

physical therapist

Joseph Flannery, PT, DPT, OCS, CIMT

I use to participate in adult basketball and soccer leagues.  During more than 8 years playing adult soccer, I experienced ankle sprains, a left elbow sprain, neck strains, wrist sprains, a partially separated right shoulder and a torn left calf muscle.   I could not play at a lesser intensity and still be a valued team member, I was doing the right training, and yet I was afraid that the next injury would affect my career as a physical therapist.  I needed different options than the traditional sports most of participated in during our high school years.

Volleyball is great option.  There are still some quick movements and possibly some jumping, but I notice more adult athletes entering this sport in their thirties, forties, and fifties.  Tennis, especially doubles, is a great sport to transition into as well.  Most athletes, even after joint replacements, are able to resume tennis doubles.  Golf, lawn bowling, pickle ball, and bowling leagues are team sports that are less stressful on the body than volleyball and tennis.  There are numerous leagues around Performance ServicesWilliamsburg that cater to the adult athlete, and Tidewater Physical Therapy in Williamsburg is committed to keeping adult athletes healthy to participate in the sports of their choice.  If there was an incident that forces the athlete to search for another option, our physical therapists will guide you based on your individual situation.  We understand the physical and mental well being of staying active, and Tidewater Physical Therapy in Williamsburg has been providing this expertise for decades.


Joe Flannery PT, DPT, OCS, CIMT and Clinical Director of our Williamsburg location is an active and athletic adult aging gracefully.  Joe holds a Direct Access Certification and can see other athletic adults aging gracefully without a doctors prescription.