Active recovery vs. passive recovery
It is important to assure a correct recovery between training sessions and even between the different exercises of the same session to maximize adaptations to training.
One of the most common debates among sports agents dedicated to talent training has to do with the convenience of young athletes’ early specialisation. Although there are not many scientific studies that provide clear hints about the best strategy, it seems that an early specialisation might increase the probability of suffering burnout and multiplying injury frequency due to chronic fatigue or overuse.1 However, still, less has been studied on how early specialisation by young athletes can influence their following professional career.
A recent research2 has analysed how early the specialisation or the practice of several sports affects the propensity for injury and the sport performance in basketball players from the National Basketball Association (NBA). The study, published in 2018, in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, was based on the analysis of 237 players selected in the first round of the NBA draft between the 2008 and 2015 seasons. The following data were collected from each of the players: participation in secondary school sport, serious injuries suffered during their career in the NBA, the percentage of games played in the NBA and whether the player was still active in the NBA. The players that participated during secondary school in several sports apart from basketball were classified as multisport athletes (n=36) and were compared with the players that only played basketball (n=201).
The results showed that:
The results suggest that despite only 15% of the analysed players participated in more than one sport during secondary school, having a multisport training background could increase the number of matches that players play, reduce the probability of suffering a serious injury, and lengthen the sports career of the athletes. However, the low percentage of players who based their sports training on a varied practice versus those who went for early specialisation is really outstanding.
Consequently, it seems that early specialisation can pose significant risks to the health of athletes and it could also compromise their following professional success. In any case, much more research which allows understanding the convenience or not of early specialisation in sport is needed. Apart from increasing the size of the sample, it should be studied in different sports and in countries that have different sports cultures. It should also be taken into account not only those athletes that reach high level, but also the immense majority of players that do not achieve it. According to data collected by the Spanish Football Federation for the 2016/2017 season, only 1 out of 2,500 players with a federative license will get to play in the First Division. The attention of researchers and sports agents should be paid above all to these boys and girls.
Carlos Lago Peñas
1 Bell DR, Post EG, Biese K, et al. Sport Specialization and Risk of Overuse Injuries: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2018; 142(3):e20180657
2 Rugg C, Kadoor A, Feeley, BT and Pandya NK. The effects of playing multiple high school on National Basketball Association Players’ propensity for injury and athletic performance. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2018; 46(2): 402-408.
Mental abilities, although not yet fully appreciated, are already considered a relevant part of performance. But their importance could go beyond that: Do they also influence the injury risk, including recurrence, once the player returns to play?
Although several studies have tried to evaluate the characteristics of the risk of injury in handball players, they have been unable to reach sufficiently reliable conclusions. A new study of all the FC Barcelona handball categories has attempted to shed more light on the subject.
Although there are several studies on this topic, many of them have analyzed these demands by looking at just a few variables or using very broad timeframes. A new study completed by physical trainers from F.C. Barcelona has analyzed several of these details more closely.
An article published in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine —in which members of the club’s medical services participated— now suggests to consider the detailed structure of the area affected, and treating the extracellular matrix as an essential player in the prognosis of the injury.
In this article, Tim Gabbett and his team provide a user-friendly guide for practitioners when describing the general purpose of load management to coaches.
For the first time, it has been demonstrated that it does not take months of training to significantly improve both muscle volume and strength; instead, two weeks of an appropriate exercise are enough.
Training using eccentric exercises is important to prevent possible damage. However, intensive training can also cause muscle damage, so it is critical to be vigilant in order to keep injury risk to an absolute minimum.
Cardiovascular endurance manifests as a moderator of the load result to which the athlete is exposed.
Through the use of computer vision we can identify some shortcomings in the body orientation of players in different game situations.