Value of monitoring all aspects of an athlete’s routine
A recently published report entitled Injuries, risk factors, consequences and injury perceptions in adolescent elite athletes has once again shone the spotlight on the importance of monitoring athletes by illustrating the importance of monitoring all aspects of an individual’s routine.
There have been many studies over the years which establish the importance of monitoring and this recent research carried out in Sweden once again underlines how essential it is, particularly when it comes to young elite athletes, which in turn highlights just how effective athlete monitoring systems like Metrifit can be.
We have highlighted the importance of monitoring athletes in sport many times and it is accepted the athletes must have all areas of their training program monitored in order to maximize their ability. We have seen many examples of how being able track the habits of athletes has ensured they get the best out of their training to ensure best possible performance, while it also helps improve the general well-being of an athlete.
Early intervention is essential in dealing with injury
Preventing injury and the need for effective monitoring in this area is highlighted in the aforementioned research led by Philip von Rosen, PhD student in the Division of Physiotherapy at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The study concludes that young elite athletes are at a high risk of injury and that early intervention is essential in preventing injury and ensuring it doesn’t develop into a long-term problem. The study points out that female athletes are at a higher risk of injury and that there is a higher risk of injury with low self-esteem, particularly when combined with lack of sleep and increased training volume and intensity.
One of the best ways to ensure early intervention and to address areas such as mental well-being, sleep levels and training volume, is through monitoring. The study was conducted on 680 adolescents from Sweden’s national sports high schools where students combine studies with training aimed at seeing them reach international standard. The athletes, representing 16 different sports, completed surveys on volume and intensity of training programmes as well as occurrence of injury. The report set out to analyze not only training patterns and injury but also the associated areas of nutrition, stress, self-esteem, sleep along with injury risk factors.
All areas must be monitored
The study revealed that on average one in three athletes suffered injury and that during the course of a year all had been injured at some point, while 75% reported that on at least one occasion they had suffered a serious injury. It also pointed out that the injury rate among females was higher and longer in duration.
The study is analyzed in High Risk Of Injury In Young Elite Athletes and points out that in an attempt to find out more about the possible risk factors behind the injuries, the participants were also asked every term about their self-esteem, nutrient intake and self-rated stress and sleep.
The ones who increased the volume and intensity of their training while reducing the duration of their sleep showed a 100 per cent rise in risk of injury. Low self-esteem also increased the risk.
An athlete with low self-esteem who increased the volume and intensity of his or her training while cutting back on sleep had three times the risk of injury compared to an athlete with average self-esteem who had not changed his or her training or sleeping habit.
In smaller research groups, students also talked about negative psychological consequences of injury, such as guilt, frustration and anger, and how injuries made them consider quitting elite sport altogether
As a result, Von Rosen believes that early intervention is the key to reducing injury along with the long-term physical and mental effects, to increase their chances of becoming elite athletes.
The high risk of injury in adolescent elite athletes shows that early-intervention injury-prevention strategies are needed in order to avoid long-term consequences of injury and to encourage continuing engagement in sport.
We therefore recommend that medical teams are made available for all athletes at every national sports high school to reduce the unhealthy behaviour associated with being injured, to prevent new injuries and to help injured athletes return to sport
The findings of the study reflected the conclusions of research carried out to determine the prevalence of injuries by registering acute and overuse injuries in adolescent elite orienteerers, also carried out by Von Rosen which revealed that overuse injuries, predominately in the foot/lower leg area, were more common than acute injuries in adolescent elite orienteerers.
Benefit of monitoring with Metrifit
As a result, we can be in no doubt that monitoring is key to dealing with such problems as highlighted in this report. In The importance of relevant monitoring in training we have seen that you can never have too much information about an athlete but it is how that is implemented into a training programme that makes the difference, as Vernon Gambetta points out:
Monitoring training will allow you to maintain control of the training process and ensure a proactive adaptive response. Planning the training and implementing the training are only two prongs of a three-pronged attack. Monitoring the training is the third. Be specific. It is more than just gathering information; it is gathering information you can use
Metrifit is an athlete monitoring system that gathers subjective and objective information from both coaches and athletes in a simple but effective manner with intelligent visualization helping coaches and athletes to act on that data. Why not have a look at our Ready to Perform product and gain insight on the physical and mental state of your athletes through our daily wellbeing questionnaire? To find out more visit our Metrifit Product Overview page or get in touch for a free demo.
Sports Scientist, Kildare Football, PhD Sports Science Researcher
Team Manager and Athlete Support Services Coordinator at Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Head Coach, Irish Hockey
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Strength and Conditioning Coach at DCU Sport and with Dublin Minor GAA
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Emma Hawke, PhD Exercise Physiology
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Dr. Dale Richardson
CEO Achieve Total Performance Pty Ltd
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Football Association of Ireland
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Edgar K. Tham
Founder and Chief Sport & Performance Psychologist, SportPsych Consulting (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)
Lincoln University Athletic Performance Manager
CEO, Shift Performance, Miami
Head Coach, Women's Soccer at Regis University
Head Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator,Noblesville High School
Head Coach, LMU Lions, Loyola Marymount University
"When COVID altered college athletics as we knew it, Metrifit came to the rescue. This intuitive athlete monitoring, health and well-being system provides the athlete, coach, and sports medicine staff a way to monitor and balance the physical, emotional, health and well-being of our athlete’s. Metrifit provided that calm in the middle of the perfect storm for our entire athletic department for the future. Thank you to the entire Metrifit family for assisting our department with a seamless process."
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Associate Director of Strength & Conditioning
Director of Olympic Strength & Conditioning
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Tino Fusco, B.Sc. ChPC
Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Mount Royal University (Canada)