Improving compliance with injury prevention programs

Athletes want to spend their time training effectively. They often fail to see the benefit of injury prevention activities when they don’t contribute to improved performance. The importance of injury prevention can be challenging for athletes to understand, especially since different prevention programs have different levels of effectiveness. For example, the HarmoKnee and The 11+ both reduce knee injury occurrence (1). But, The 11+ prevents twice as many knee injuries in a similar-sized group of users (numbers needed to treat: The 11+ = 28, HarmoKnee = 72)(1).

The same injury prevention program can also have different outcomes in different populations. The 11+ is highly effective in adolescent female footballers (reduced injury by 32% vs. control), but ineffective in veteran (>32 years old) male footballers (injury reduction 3% vs. control)(2). These different outcomes can be confusing and frustrating for the end-users: coaches, trainers, physios, and athletes. This confusion impacts one of the key determinants of injury prevention program effectiveness – compliance.

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Jason Tee
Jason Tee
Coach educator and performance consultant

Coach and sports scientist with an interest in player and coach development