The Influence of Neck Stiffness on Head Kinematics and Maximum Principal Strain Associated With Youth American Football Collisions

A recent article from the Journal of Applied Biomechanics and on Neck injuries which is a current hot topic.

Authors:

Janie Cournoyer
David Koncan
Michael D. Gilchrist
T. Blaine Hoshizaki

University of Ottawa;
University College Dublin

Published: 08 Mar 2021

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in head kinematics and maximum principal strain in youth American football helmet-to-helmet collisions between an unbiased neckform and prototype neck apparatus, including springs, representing the upper trapezius, the splenius capitis, and the sternocleidomastoid muscles, for 3 impact velocities, 3 impact locations, and 2 striking masses. This research was part of a larger project funded by the National Operating Committee on Sport Safety Equipment to inform youth helmet testing procedures.

Understanding the relationship between head mass and neck stiffness during direct head impacts is especially concerning in youth sports where athletes have higher proportional head mass to neck strength.

For full study results and conclusions click on the link

The Influence of Neck Stiffness on Head Kinematics and Maximum Principal Strain Associated With Youth American Football Collisions

 

Looking after your mental health and well being

Publication from UK Coaching:

As a coach, your performance may, or will be, critical to success in your role. How you feel and what you think ultimately effects your behaviour in this performance role. Your mental health
has a ‘two-way street’ relationship with how you feel and what you think. Therefore, it is of great significance to consider – to care for yourself and your mental health and well-being.
The World Health Organization states that mental health is where an individual realises their potential, can cope with everyday stress, can work productively, and contribute to their
community. Mental health and well-being is associated with positive physical health, pro-social behaviour and the ability to self-regulate and cope with adversity. Key aspects to positive
mental health are as follows: you feel good on a regular basis; you can reflect positively on your life, your abilities and achievements; you can be self-compassionate to yourself; and finally, you feel and believe there is a sense of meaning in your life.

Click on PDF to continue reading :  Looking after your mental health and well being

 

Implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme in English schoolboy rugby union

(Activate is the RFU’s Injury Prevention Exercise Programme) which all coaches should be made aware.

Authors:

Craig Barden1, Keith A Stokes1,2, Carly D McKay1,3

1.- Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
2.- Rugby Football Union, Twickenham, London, UK
3.- Centre for Motivation and Health Behaviour Change, University of Bath, Bath, UK

Fascinating paper just published on the 4th of May 2021, The Objectives of the study about the implementation of the Activate injury prevention exercise programme has not been assessed in an applied context.

This study aimed to

(1) describe the knowledge and perceptions of school rugby coaches and players towards injury risk, prevention and Activate and

(2) evaluate Activate implementation in schoolboy rugby using the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation and maintenance framework.

►► Coaches reported significantly greater baseline Activate awareness than players (75% and 18%,respectively).
►► Coaches had significantly greater Activate adoption during the study period (76% and 13%).
►► Coaches appear to be critical in the adoption and delivery of Activate in a school rugby environment.
►► Focus on behavioural change in coaches will likely have the greatest effect of Activate implementation.

Addressing coach barriers and using behavioural change theories may aid this.

Conclusion

Coaches had significantly greater awareness and adoption of Activate, with players largely unaware of the programme and if they used it. Coaches are instrumental in the decision to implement Activate. Targeting behavioural change in these individuals is likely to have the greatest impact on intervention uptake.

FULL PAPER Here A MUST Read: Activate Injury Prevention

For further reading click on the link from England Rugby: https://www.englandrugby.com/participation/coaching/activate

A qualitative investigation into the individual injury burden of amateur rugby players

Authors: Gemma P. Murphy & Rachel B. Sheehan
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland

Highlights

Players shared similar experiences of burden when recovering from a severe injury.

Themes relating to personal and situational factors affect players during injury.

The highest burden of injury occurred during onset of injury and rehabilitation.

Burden of injury has the potential to affect a player’s rehabilitation outcome.

The Author’s findings indicate that individual injury experiences can affect a player’s recovery and rehabilitation outcome, potentially extending the injury process and affecting player availability for the team. As such, injury management should focus on alleviating any injury-related burden experienced by players, as well as burden placed on the team, to maximise rehabilitation outcomes.

Click on link to read the PDF Article: A qualitative investigation into the in..

Single leg hop for distance symmetry masks lower limb biomechanics:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2020-103677

Time to discuss Single Leg Hop distance as decision criteria for return to sport after #ACL reconstruction ?

A MUST read paper and not surprised after seeing the authors associated with the work

The study evaluated the lower limb status of athletes after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) during the propulsion and landing phases of a single leg hop for distance (SLHD) task after they had been cleared to return to sport.

The Authors wanted to evaluate the biomechanical components of the involved (operated) and uninvolved legs of athletes with ACLR and compare these legs with those of uninjured athletes (controls).

For the full paper click on the link : bjsports-2020-103677.full

 

Anterior cruciate ligament injury: towards a gendered environmental approach

Authors:

  1. Joanne L Parsons
  2. Stephanie E Coen
  3. Sheree Bekke

Anterior cruciate ligament injury: towards a gendered environmental approach | British Journal of Sports Medicine (bmj.com)

For all coaches out there, If you work with female athletes of any level in a coaching, clinical or performance role….. This is a must read.

The paper discusses the curious absence of gender as an influencer in the dialogue surrounding ACL injuries. the study proposes adding gender as a pervasive developmental environment as a new theoretical overlay to an established injury model to illustrate how gender can operate as an extrinsic determinant from the pre-sport, training and competition environments through to ACL injury and the treatment environment.

 

For a full read of the paper click here : bjsports-2020-103173.full

 

PLANNING IN-CONTEXT

Too often, a “new” training or exercise method will emerge, and everyone will get in the cart and quickly incorporate exercise or change into the training method. This in my experience has been found to be prevalent at Grassroots and Amateur sport.

The attitude is, if this and the other is what the world record holder does, it must be good and therefore I will copy it. This is known as monkey sees, monkey do

The use of chains in weight training, using Ladders to improve agility are two examples that comes to mind. They are viable tools if they fit in. Before we incorporate something, we need to see how it is inscribed in the context of what is already being done and we need to carefully evaluate the context in which it was successful.

However, we must always keep an open mind and incorporate sensible innovations where appropriate.

Context is a key element of an S&C system. The context establishes the nature of the relationship of the various components of training within the system. What we do today in training must fit with what we did yesterday and should flow into what we are going to do tomorrow. Bringing something alien that is not proven or shown to be effective undermines the system.

The same is true for training components particularly in contact sports. Perhaps the biggest violation of the context principle is taking one of the components, for example, speed or strength training it to the exclusion of all other physical qualities. This is flawed. It is possible to design a program where a component is emphasized during one phase, but they must be taken into proportion to the other components and placed in the context of the total training plan.

If the context principle is not observed, then the training components will be disproportionate, and adaptation will not occur at the intended level. The best way to keep everything in context is to plan well and stick to the plan, explain to the athletes how does it work so they can buy into the Planning.

Periodization

How important is planning? Not planning is planning failure. So obviously I think it is important, but I have some questions about the concept of periodization that acquires popular acceptance. Where does it come from that focus on planning should be, long-term or short-term? I have concluded that the focus should be on short-term detailed planning, the real micro cycle, and the training session. I have found in recent years that the Meso Cycle plan demands constant adjustment particularly at levels other than elite.

Personally I used to put too many details into the plan and in the long run had to cut back or changing it anyway. The other aspect of planning that should require attention is planning the interaction between all components of the training. Is everything in context or is there something unexpected?

Ironically, some of the most productive training sessions I have had as a coach have come when I threw away the plan and followed my instincts because of unexpected variables. There are no secret programs or shortcuts to athletic excellence. Great training programs focus on fundamentals and build on the basics

Periodization is an art, moving forward and making more meaningful planning will require a major paradigm shift. Periodization in S & C follows in its current format follows linear reductionism (it’s the science that involves breaking things down into their smallest possible parts.), which has brought us to this point, but which prevents us from moving forward into the future.

Adaptive approach

Advances in Sports Science and coaching methodologies in the last 25 years has come in leaps and bounds, logically, this led us to an Adaptive approach to training planning (i.e., best optimal performance) The adaptive approach focuses on relationships and connections.

This framework integrates performance indicators such as training load measures, physiological constraints, and behaviour-change features like goal setting and self-monitoring. It provides a training plan, being adopted by the athlete, and its goal adapts to the athlete’s behaviour.  The framework for this adaptive approach is to have it personalized for athletes.

Adaptive Approach is to take advantage of these constantly changing connections and relationships. The one thing to avoid is overtraining, staleness, failure to develop transferable skills, psychological (e.g., decreased enjoyment, sense of failure) and social (e.g., limited social opportunities) particularly in young athletes or people just wanting to enjoy the sport.

(In terms of unpaid athletes, unplanned conditions such as overtime jobs, family issues and illness may intervene in the athlete’s plan. Reorganization of the training plan may be needed to cover these unpredictable issues to maintain or raise athlete’s performance as much as possible in the remaining time until competition day.)

The use of this training approach literally becomes a dance of discovery. It requires the coach to participate more actively in the follow-up of all aspects of the training. This is a significant deviation from focusing on the training parts (components) and goal setting also it assumes that the training parts will meet in a kind of reasonable useful set to work with.

The plan should constantly seek critical relationships that will allow the body to adapt to the stress of training. The body is a fully integrated system, to optimize the performance of this system you must have an approach to the planning and execution of training.

Reference:

Book:
The Gambetta Method (2nd edition): Common Sense Training for Athletic Performance – Authors                James Radcliffe and Vern Gambetta

Science Articles:

A Conceptual Framework for the Generation of Adaptive Training Plans in Sports Coaching | SpringerLink

Planning a sports training program using Adaptive Particle Swarm Optimization with emphasis on physiological constraints | BMC Research Notes | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

Match and Training Injuries in Women’s Rugby Union: A Systematic Review of Published Studies

Another interesting study originating this time from Australia aimed at Women’s Rugby specifically a systematic review of all published studies until July 2019. To understand the conclusions read the full study.

Authors: Doug King · Patria Hume · Cloe Cummins · Alan Pearce · Trevor Clark · Andrew Foskett · Matt Barnes https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-019-01151-4 

Background

There is a paucity of studies reporting on women’s injuries in rugby union.

Objective

The aim of this systematic review was to describe the injury epidemiology for women’s rugby-15s and rugby-7s match and training environments.

Methods

Systematic searches of PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science Core Collection, Scopus, CINAHL(EBSCO) and ScienceDirect databases using keywords.

Results

Ten articles addressing the incidence of injury in women’s rugby union players were retrieved and included. The pooled incidence of injuries in women’s rugby-15s was 19.6 (95% CI 17.7–21.7) per 1000 match-hours (h). Injuries in women’s rugby-15s varied from 3.6 (95% CI 2.5–5.3) per 1000 playing-h (including training and games) to 37.5 (95% CI 26.5–48.5) per 1000 match-h. Women’s rugby-7s had a pooled injury incidence of 62.5 (95% CI 54.7–70.4) per 1000 player-h and the injury incidence varied from 46.3 (95% CI 38.7–55.4) per 1000 match-h to 95.4 (95% CI 79.9–113.9) per 1000 match-h. The tackle was the most commonly reported injury cause with the ball carrier recording more injuries at the collegiate [5.5 (95% CI 4.5–6.8) vs. 3.5 (95% CI 2.7–4.6) per 1000 player-game-h; χ2(1) = 6.7; p = 0.0095], and Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) [2006: 14.5 (95% CI 8.9–23.7) vs. 10.9 (95% CI 6.2–19.2) per 1000 match-h; χ2(1) = 0.6; p = 0.4497; 2010: 11.8 (95% CI 6.9–20.4) vs. 1.8 (95% CI 0.5–7.3) per 1000 match-h; χ2(1) = 8.1; p = 0.0045] levels of participation. Concussions and sprains/strains were the most commonly reported injuries at the collegiate level of participation.

Discussion

Women’s rugby-7s had a higher un-pooled injury incidence than women’s rugby-15s players based on rugby-specific surveys and hospitalisation data. The incidence of injury in women’s rugby-15s and rugby-7s was lower than men’s professional rugby-15s and rugby-7s competitions but similar to male youth rugby-15s players. Differences in reporting methodologies limited comparison of results.

Conclusion

Women’s rugby-7s resulted in a higher injury incidence than women’s rugby-15s. The head/face was the most commonly reported injury site. The tackle was the most common cause of injury in both rugby-7s and rugby-15s at all levels. Future studies are warranted on injuries in women’s rugby-15s and rugby-7s.

Study :Full Paper

 

 

Cumulative Sport‑Related Injuries and Longer Term Impact in Retired Male Elite‑ and Amateur‑Level Rugby Code Athletes and Non‑contact Athletes: A Retrospective Study

Interesting study by Durham University on the impact of the accumulation of injuries on both professional and amateur rugby players, important role on the Concussion.
Rugby union and rugby league are popular team contact sports, but they bring a high risk of injury. Although previous studies have reported injury occurrence across one or several seasons, none have explored the total number of injuries sustained across an entire career.
Reading the paper efforts should be prioritized to reduce the occurrence and recurrence of injuries in rugby codes at all levels of the sport.
Strategies should be developed for supporting specific physical health needs of both codes athlete’s post-retirement.
To read the full Article click on the PDF : Durham Study

Bolivia Rugby presents: CICLO DE CHARLAS – EL ROL DEL ENTRENADOR – Daniel HOURCADE

Fascinating chat given by Argentine Coach Daniel Hourcade.