Professional youth football academy injury data: Collection procedures, perceived value, and use

Robert McCunn, Neil Gibson, Hugh Fullagar, Liam Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: There is a paucity of descriptive injury data relevant to professional academy football, with little to no evidence reporting how sports science/medicine staff within academies collect and use injury data.

Materials and methods: An online survey comprising of scaled, rank or open-ended questions relating to the perceptions surrounding injury data collection, its value and use was developed. Forty-seven applied practitioners working for different professional football academies from seven countries completed the survey.

Results: Injury data collection procedures conducted by appropriately trained medical staff are widespread among football academies. Injury data collection within academies was deemed worthwhile and important by 79% of practitioners, with 88% strongly agreeing/agreeing that it is used to inform injury prevention strategies. Similarly, 79% strongly agreed/agreed that using injury data for academic research is worthwhile; however, lack of time and reluctance from the academy to share its data were cited as barriers. The engagement with and use of injury data by coaching staff appears to be relatively poor, with only 49% of practitioners stating coaches formally review data.

Conclusions: Injury data are widely collected within academies and practitioners consider this information valuable. However, improving engagement with coaches and using the data for academic research could further improve applied practice via encouraging the implementation of evidence-based practice.

Practical implications: Applied practitioners should consider sharing injury data with both researchers and coaches. In doing so evidence-guided injury prevention interventions may be developed and subsequently applied in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Volume2
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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