Training load-injury paradox: is greater preseason participation associated with lower in-season injury risk in elite rugby league players?

Windt, Johann and Gabbett, Tim J. and Ferris, Daniel and Khan, Karim M. (2017) Training load-injury paradox: is greater preseason participation associated with lower in-season injury risk in elite rugby league players? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51 (8). pp. 645-650. ISSN 0306-3674


Aim: To determine whether players who completed a greater number of planned preseason training sessions were more or less likely to be injured during the competitive season.

Methods: A cohort of 30 elite rugby league players was prospectively studied during their 17-week preseason and 26-round competitive season. Injuries were recorded using a match time loss definition. Preseason participation was quantified as the number of b € full' training sessions that players completed, excluding modified, rehabilitation or missed sessions. In-season training load variables, collected using global positioning system (GPS) data, included distance covered (m), high-speed distance covered (m) and the percentage of distance covered at high speeds (%). Multilevel logistic regression models were used to determine injury likelihood in the current and subsequent week, with random intercepts for each player. Odds ratios (OR) were used as effect size measures to determine the changes in injury likelihood with (1) a 10-session increase in preseason training participation or (2) standardised changes in training load variables.

Results: Controlling for training load in a given week, completing 10 additional preseason sessions was associated with a 17% reduction in the odds of injury in the subsequent week (OR=0.83, 95% CI=0.70 to 0.99). Increased preseason participation was associated with a lower percentage of games missed due to injury (r=b '0.40, p<0.05), with 10 preseason sessions predicting a 5% reduction in the percentage of games missed.

Conclusions: Maximising participation in preseason training may protect elite rugby league players against in-season injury.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2017 04:56
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2018 02:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: athlete; rugby; sporting injuries; training load; adult; athletic injuries; football; humans; logistic models; male; physical conditioning, human; prospective studies; young adult
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified
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