The best sporting teams have one thing in common. Low injury rates!
A successful team is one that has achieved the goals it set out to achieve at the end of their ‘season.’ This might be a usual 6 month season of matches, it might be a four year cycle leading to the Olympic Games.
The support with finances, medical and coaching quality will always play a vital role.
But one element that costs you nothing is to simply keep being available for training. Miss less than 20% of your planned sessions and you are more likely to achieve your goals!
It’s not that simple, though. Sure you can break your leg and still turn up to training, but that’s not what we are talking about here.
So, the point is; don’t break that leg. Don’t suffer that ankle injury. Don’t struggle with that knee pain or achilles tendinopathy.
The better quality your training, the more ‘completion’ of training you will achieve.
There are two incredibly valuable elements of this idea of remaining available for training.
- Practice Injury Prevention
- Report and get on top of Niggles
So, why does injury prevention work?
Look no further than the recent Super Bowl won by the LA Rams. They put in place a high emphasis on prevention, kept their injury rates low and won. Over the last 7 years they have one of the lowest injury rates and have won 2 super bowls in that time! Read more here.
The best teams are the most ‘available.’
The best headache for a coach is a selection headache with too many players to choose from!
Not only is the squad more likely to perform, but you as an individual can continue to:
- Practice skills,
- Improve tactics,
- Improve game awareness,
- Develop more strength,
- Improve fitness,
- Create competition for team-mates to improve the above aspects of their game.
The result being that the collective group is more readily available and prepared for matches.
The goal is to achieve greater than 85% availability.
A UEFA study has shown that when teams average greater than 85% availability, they achieved more of the goals they had set out to achieve at the beginning of the season. This meant that they performed better in both the domestic league and the UEFA Champions League. This is very similar across multiple sports including Cricket, Athletics, Rugby union and many more. The common theme is that being able to attend more than 80% of the planned training sessions and matches or events resulted in far higher pre-defined ‘success’ outcomes.