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Enhancing performance & rreventing injuries in team sport players

PhD ceremony:Ms H.T.D. (Henrike) van der Does
When:December 14, 2016
Supervisors:prof. dr. K.A.P.M. (Koen) Lemmink, C. (Chris) Visscher
Co-supervisor:dr. M.S. (Michel) Brink
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG
Enhancing performance & rreventing injuries in team sport

Next to physical load and recovery as a result of training, psychosocial stress and recovery affect performance and injury risk of team sport players. This can be concluded from a series of studies that focus on the relation between jumping technique, training load, training recovery, psychosocial stress and recovery on the one hand, and performance and injury risk on the other hand.

A total of 129 male and female volleyball, basketball, korfball and floorball players were monitored during two seasons. During this period the players were screened for jumping technique at the start of the season, while during the season performance tests were conducted every 6 weeks and the players filled out a psychosocial stress and recovery questionnaire every 3 weeks. Injuries were registered by the physical therapist. Results show that more psychosocial stress and less psychosocial recovery correlate with a decreased aerobic performance. Less psychosocial recovery also relate to the occurrence of acute and overuse injuries. Screening at the start of the season showed that less stability after landing from a jump increases the risk of an acute ankle injury, while a stiff landing technique increases the risk of an overuse knee injury. Our study leads to the following practical advices: it  seems important for coaches and sport physiotherapists to include baseline measurements to identify players at risk, and incorporate prevention programs into their daily training routines. Furthermore, monitoring physical and psychosocial stress and recovery during the season can identify players with a disbalance, for whom proper interventions in training or the psychosocial domain can be implemented.

See also the Unifocus video about her research.