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Sports Injuries are on the Rise

What can you do to help?

Despite our expanding knowledge and our access to incredible technology we seem to be heading in the wrong direction when it comes to injury & injury prevention in sport.

When we look at the impact injury has on individual players, team performance, in wins & losses AND the alarming financial implications, injuries are not just part of the game….
They are the Game!

Take football for an example. It has been estimated that 50% to 70% of all soft tissue injuries can be prevented through simple interventions and strategic athlete management.

This is a BIG DEAL, as it has been shown that pre season injuries in the NFL are on the rise since 2004. There is an average of 62.4 season ending injuries in the pre-season. That’s 15.6/week!!

If we look at the 2014 NFL season going into week 9 – soft tissue injuries were taking their toll on players and teams. A total of 405 games were lost due to injury – costing teams upwards of $35million in salaries paid to players who could not play – not to mention the cost to the win/loss records – it’s incalculable!!!

It’s not just football… it is across the sport spectrum from the minors & little leagues right up to the starting rosters on professional teams.

NUMBERS DON”T LIE

In the NHL – a recent report showed that 50.9% of all NHL players have missed at least one game due to injury with a total salary cost of $218mil US/year!

In basketball – knee injuries alone cost the NBA $358 million dollars last year.

In Major League Baseball – the overall cost of injuries in 2014 was $1.4 billion.

Little League and Minor Sport in the U.S. alone:
-Sports injuries accounted for 20 percent of all injury-related emergency department visits for children ages 6- 19.
-Medical costs for sports injury emergency department visits exceed $935 million each year.
-Players with one or more previous injuries have 2 to 3 times greater risk of incident injury compared to those without previous injury.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

UNDERSTANDING
The first step is to understand why and how the injuries are happening. That’s why we look so closely at all the data we can get our hands on. Then we look for solutions.

                              5 THINGS WE KNOW…

1. In the NFL – 70% of recent ACL injuries are non-contact injuries.
2. In hockey – the majority of injuries happen in the third period.
3. Specialization has resulted in an increase of overuse injuries, burnout & dropout rates have skyrocketed.
4. Dehydration impacts decision making & reaction time.
5. Athletes who experience 2 injuries that cause missed time in a single season have a 40% higher dropout rate than athletes who experience one or none.

So, in understanding the why and how we can more effectively deal with preparation and prevention.

Keep in mind it’s not just the physical side of the game we need to look at, we also need to pay great heed to the power of injury prevention from a psychology perspective.

Is it possible that anxiety and stress, coping strategies and mind set impact your risk of injury, perhaps the severity of your injury and even your recovery time? Well the research says Yes – and there are concepts like daily hassle levels, uplift scales, stress susceptibility and trait irritability that can all play a roll in improving performance & in preventing injuries.

And not just a little bit… we’re talking up to a 50% decrease in injuries for at risk players who have been through the mental intervention strategies according to recent research.
That’s a Big Number!

On the physical side we know the power of proper training, that is why in all of our programs the #1 priority is injury prevention.
It’s all about athlete management and there are some great programs that have been put in place to help athletes and coaches in this regard.

                                      CHECK OUT THESE GREAT RESOURCES.

1. Look at FIFA’s 11+ program – teams that consistently use the warm-up routine have 50% fewer injuries than teams that are inconsistent or don’t use it at all. http://f-marc.com/11plus/home/
2. In baseball – check out MLB’s & USA Baseball’s Pitch Smart Program: http://m.mlb.com/pitchsmart/
3. And there’s great programs like the Hit Count Program: http://sportslegacy.org/national-initiatives/hit-count

So be progressive and really take time to understand and manage yourself and/or your athletes as the competitive season rolls along.

While the overlying principle in all of our programs is Injury Prevention & Top Performance (in that order) the TOP priority for every one of our athletes is daily Rest & Recovery and Athlete Management.

You know what they say: “An ounce of prevention….”

Jeff
 

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