Single leg hop for distance symmetry masks lower limb biomechanics:

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


  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 (

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



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.


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.


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 (

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 


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


Fascinating chat given by Argentine Coach Daniel Hourcade.

Patterns of training volume and injury risk in elite rugby union: An analysis of 1.5 million hours of training exposure over eleven seasons

Stephen W. West, Sean Williams, Simon P. T. Kemp, Matthew J. Cross, Carly McKay, Colin W. Fuller, Aileen Taylor, John H. M. Brooks & Keith A. Stokes (2020)

Patterns of training volume and injury risk in elite rugby union: An analysis of 1.5 million hours of training exposure over eleven seasons, Journal of Sports Sciences, 38:3, 238-247, DOI:

One of the most fascinating journals I have read in a while, the study on Rugby union examines trends in training volume and its impact on injury incidence, severity and burden over an 11-season period in English professional rugby.

The study recorded from 2007/08 through 2017/18, capturing 1,501,606 h of training exposure and 3,782 training injuries. Players completed, on average, 6h 48 minutes of weekly training (95% CI: 6 h 30 mins to 7 h 6 mins): this value remained stable over the 11 seasons.

Results showed increased severity, injury burden rose from 51 days absence/1000 player-hours in 2007/08 to 106 days’ absence/1000 player-hours in 2017/18. Despite the low incidence of injury in training compared to match-play, training accounted for 34% of all injuries. Future assessments of training intensity may lead to a greater understanding of the rise in injury severity.

The study’s research found a sparsity of information regarding changes to the composition and volume of training over time and the impact of these changes on the incidence, severity and type of training injuries. Their aim was to assess longitudinal changes in volume and type of training, and to explore the effect of these changes on training injury over eleven seasons.

Over the 11 season they demonstrated that match injuries are often the result of unpredictable game events and hence difficult to prevent, training is conducted in a largely controlled environment and it may be considered easier to reduce injuries in this environment

The study suggests that to reduce the overall time loss associated with injury in rugby union, the focus of these efforts may be best placed in training, compared with match-play.

The practical implications of this study are evident for both practice and policy. In practice, this data can be used by clubs to identify differences between themselves and that of elite rugby union clubs in England, in both the volume of training completed as well as the injury patterns they see.

Future studies are needed to establish the exact nature, methodologies, intensity and composition of full contact training, given its high incidence of injury. Developing a greater understanding of the mechanisms driving the increase in injury severity is warranted to reduce the overall burden of injury from training.

This study provides the largest and most comprehensive view of training volume and training injury in professional rugby union.  Results provided season variations which are apparent, the volume of training did not change between 2007/08 and 2017/18.

To ready the full study and make your own conclusions click on the link Patterns of training volume

Early Strength and Conditioning techniques at the turn of the 20th Century

They had the right idea for punishment or training? You decide

Scapula Fractures in Elite Soccer and Rugby Players

Review of Article


Jerome McIntosh,* MBBS, Pouya Akhbari,† MBBS, MSc, FRCS (Tr & Orth) Eng,
Amar Malhas,‡ MBBS, FRCS (Tr & Orth) Eng, and
Lennard Funk,†§ MBBCh, MSc, FRCS (Tr & Orth) Eng

Scapula fractures are infrequent, representing 1% of all fractures. They are often secondary to high-energy trauma and have significant associated injuries. Over 50% of scapula fractures occur as a result of road traffic collisions, with almost 20% involving a pedestrian being struck by a car. A simple fall accounts for only 12% of scapula fractures in the population.

While most of the fractures can be successfully managed nonoperatively and a superior shoulder suspensory mechanism injury, may require surgical intervention. Almost 90% of scapula fractures are attributed to high energy mechanisms. These are well reported in the literature, with associated injuries. Anterior glenoid rim fractures associated with dislocation have also been reported. However, scapula fractures attributed to sports injuries are not well reported in the literature.

Approximately 0.5% of all sports-related fractures are scapula fractures. No studies were identified that focused on scapula fractures in rugby or European football (soccer). Elite rugby players are a unique population in that they are often subjected to high-energy collisions.6 Each player can expect to routinely receive 1.95 to 2.13 times their bodyweight during tackles and collisions, with the mean weight of a front row player approaching 99.79 Kg.

The forces involved become substantial. Predictably, these common events during any match lead to a high rate of injury and time off play. Specifically, shoulder injuries are thought to occur every 17,000 player-hours of a match, although only 1% of those result in a fracture.

Scapula fractures in elite rugby players are rarer, representing only 8% of significant shoulder injuries requiring specialist orthopaedic management. Given its significance, there is little in the literature specifically addressing this injury.

During the 8-year study review period, the senior author saw 829 shoulder injuries in competitive rugby players and 103 shoulder injuries in competitive soccer players. Eleven patients with scapula fractures were identified (Table 1). Of these, 9 patients were professional rugby players (4 rugby league and 5 rugby union); 1 patient was a professional soccer player; and 1 patient was an amateur soccer player.

The results of this study demonstrated that scapula fractures in rugby or soccer players are associated with a prolonged recovery time of 4 to 5 months. There is little in the literature focusing on scapula injuries in professional rugby players other than its incidence.

The rate of suprascapular nerve injury in rugby players was 22% in the study. The literature also reports high rates of ongoing pain after scapula neck and body injuries treated nonoperatively, with rates of exertional weakness approaching 40% to 60% of cases.

To conclude, Scapula fractures acquired in sports are a serious injury with a prolonged recovery period, and they can have career-ending effects. There is a high association of these fracture patterns with suprascapular nerve injuries, which must be examined during clinical assessment. These high-energy injuries are rarely described in athletes and classically relate to major trauma, highlighting the forces associated with rugby and other contact sports.

To read the entire article click on the link : Scapula Fractures

Visual Feedback attenuates mean concentric Barbell Velocity loss and improves motivation…

Infographic from the NSCA.

Athletes may benefit from receiving visual feedback of kinematic outcomes during training periods, particularly when (1) training quality is of importance, (2) training volume is high, or (3) motivation is low.

This study examined the effects of visual kinematic feedback during the back-squat exercise.