The Performance Matrix

Injury Prevention in Youth Athletes

25th July 2013

Injury risk; Different in team and individuals youth sport

Last week we looked into the management of elite athletes and how The Performance Matrix can help manage the athlete and prevent injuries.

Previous injuries are a risk factor for future injury so it is essential to start injury prevention at a young age.

A recent study has shown how more injuries occur in young athletes in youth team sports than in individual sports. Another imported factor, in this study, was the amount of competitions played over a 100 days period. A greater number of competitions resulted in more injuries.

Clearly it is important to prevent injuries in junior sportsmen and women. Not only for short-term performance but also for the long term.

Exploring the movement control of the young sportsmen and women is a key element in injury prevention.

Special attention is needed for sportsmen and women in team sports with many competition days.

J Sci Med Sport. 2013 May;16(3):200-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.07.007.

Injury risk is different in team and individual youth sport

J Sci Med Sport. 2013 May;16(3):200-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.07.007

Theisen D, Frisch A, Malisoux L, Urhausen A, Croisier JL, Seil R.

See Abstract here:



OBJECTIVES: This study compared sports injury incidence in young high-level athletes from various team and individual sports and investigated if sport participation patterns are linked to injuries.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort follow-up.

METHODS: Pupils from a public sports school (12-19 years) were recruited over two separate school years (2008-2009: 42 weeks, n=199 athletes; 2009-2010: 40 weeks, n=89 athletes). Training and competition volume and intensity were recorded via a personal sports diary. Sports injuries (time-loss definition) were registered by medical staff members using a standardized questionnaire.

RESULTS: Injury incidence was significantly higher in team compared with individual sports (6.16 versus 2.88 injuries/1000h, respectively), as a result of a higher incidence of both traumatic (RR=2.17; CI95%=1.75-2.70; p<0.001), and overuse injuries (RR=2.06; CI95%=1.46-2.91; p<0.001). A Cox proportional hazards regression revealed that team sports participation had a hazard ratio of 2.00 (CI95%=1.49-2.68; p<0.001) compared to individual sports, with additionally previous injury being a risk and age a protective factor. The number of competitions per 100 days was significantly higher in team sports, whereas the number of intense training sessions per 100 days was significantly lower. In team sports, the number of competitions per 100 days was positively associated with injuries (HR=1.072; CI95% [1.033; 1.113]; p<0.001), while in individual sports the number of competitions per 100 days had a protective effect (HR=0.940; CI95% [0.893; 0.989]; p=0.017).

CONCLUSIONS: Team sports participation entailed a higher injury risk, whatever the injury category. Further research should elucidate the role of characteristics related to sport participation in injury causation. 


Next time An athlete's experience with The Performance Matrix

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