GAINcast Episode 224: Injury explosion

Coaches now devote more time to recovery and injury prevention than ever before. At the same time, injury rates have climbed to historic levels in many sports. How can it be that we’re working harder to prevent injuries, but athletes continue to get hurt at increasing rates? On this week’s GAINcast we look at how the modern approach to injury prevention might actually be making things worse, and propose some new ideas for reducing injury rates.

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Notes and quotes

  • 0:00 – Introduction.
  • 2:30 – Remembering Sam Cunningham.
  • 6:45 – Injury paradox: “We’re devoting more time to recovery and injury prevention than we ever had. Is that time well spent? Is it beneficial? Is the injury preventing preventing injuries?”
  • 10:45 – Knowing vs. doing: “We typically know why injuries happen, and yet, we’re not all that good at preventing them; adherence to injury prevention programs is generally quite low.”
  • 12:45 – The rise of the medical model.
  • 17:15 – Examples of the performance model: “The medical model emphasizes what you can’t do. It’s restrictive. The performance model looks at what you can do.”
  • 22:00 – The pandemic’s impact on injuries.
  • 23:00 – The role of collective bargaining agreements and a reduction in training: “Getting better at the skills of the game goes a long ways to preventing injuries.”
  • 26:00 – The role of the basics in injury prevention: “If you do the basics right, then look for risk factors such as sleep, stress, travel, and hydration, then you’re a long ways there in reducing injuries, and even if you have injuries you’ll return to play faster.”
  • 29:30 – Injury audits: “Look at what you are doing, both the depth and breadth. Then ask what are you not doing? And are there things you are doing now that you never did before and vice versa?”
  • 33:00 – Data and artificial numbers. “If you are measuring something, is it meaningful?”
  • 36:00 – Example from injury analytics in action.
  • 38:30 – Hamstring injuries: “The hamstring doesn’t pull itself. It is related to inter and intra muscular coordination.”
  • 42:00 – Systematic/logical approaches and fear of missing out.
  • 45:00 – Eliminating silos and developing mutual respect.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: