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.
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.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Our monthly GAIN Master Class Series features speakers from all aspects of performance. This month we are looking at using games for developing skills, performance, and fun in training. Sign up and learn more here.
- The GAINcast is also sponsored by HMMR Media. Join HMMR Media to get access to a vast library of online training resources, video, articles, podcasts, and more.
- You can read some of Vern’s memories of Sam Cunningham here, as well as this profile of the Cunningham brothers from earlier this year.
- This episode was inspired by Vern’s article on the topic from July.
- Return to performance and rehabilitation was our HMMR site theme in September 2020, with contributions from many authors. The performance model for rehabilitation was looked at on GAINcast 49 with Bill Knowles and HMMR Podcast 231 with Donie Fox.
- We also covered injury prevention on GAINcast 6. Hamstring injuries has also been a recurring theme. Here are two articles on hamstring injuries and hamstring solutions. The new research on injury prevention discussed in this episode was summarized by Craig Pickering in our most recent Sports Science Monthly.
- HRV and data was another topics discussed on this episode, and we looked at it in more detail on GAINcast 221 with Dr. Michael Joyner.