Returning to Sports

  • If you are an athlete we recommend you follow a Graduated Return to Sport Strategy that can be designed with you and your healthcare team and sports staff.  

  • You strategies and plan should be specific to your sport

  • You should not return to contact sports for at least 2-3 weeks even if you are symptom free because you may be at higher risk of re-injury.


Graduated Return to Sports Strategy:

Step 1 Symptom-limited activity

  • Daily activities that do not provoke symptoms
  • Goal: Gradual reintroduction of work/school activities


Step 2 Light aerobic exercise

  • Walking or stationary cycling at slow to medium pace.
  • No resistance training
  • Goal: Increase heart rate


Step 3 Sport-specific exercise

  • Running or skating drills.
  • No head impact activities
  • Goal: Add movement


Step 4 Non-contact training drills

  • Harder training drills, eg, passing drills.
  • May start progressive resistance training
  • Goal: Exercise, coordination and increased thinking


Step 5 Full contact practice

  • Following medical clearance, participate in normal training activities
  • Goal: Restore confidence and assess functional skills by coaching staff


Step 6 Return to sport Normal game play

  • Ideally you should get clearance from a medical provider to return to full contact practice and play.


It’s dangerous to return to sport too early after a concussion. Even if you have no symptoms and feel and test normal you may be at higher risk of injury.  Taking at least 2-3 weeks off of any contact or risky activity will increase your safety.