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Consistent training is conducive to reaching performance goals in sport and essential for optimal performance. A study in athletics has shown that the likelihood of achieving a performance goal was seven times higher in those athletes who completed >80% of their planned training weeks and that training availability accounted for 86% of successful seasons.1 This means that the goals of the coaches and strength/conditioning experts and the sports medicine/physiotherapy team are not distinct entities but rather complementary, with the clinical team trying to avoid failure and the coaches improving the chance of success.
How do we keep our athletes injury-free? There is the perception that higher training loads inevitably result in higher injury rates in athletes. Although it is true that high absolute training loads are associated with greater injury risk, there is also evidence that training may have a protective effect and that undertraining increases injury risk.2
The new ‘train smart AND hard’ paradigm3 suggests that it is not so much the load itself, but an inappropriate transition to …