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Cost-benefit analysis underlies training decisions in elite sport
  1. Heath T Gabbett1,
  2. Johann Windt2,3,
  3. Tim J Gabbett4,5
  1. 1 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3 Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  4. 4 School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5 School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tim J Gabbett, School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, 1100 Nudgee Road, Brisbane, QLD 4014, Australia; tim_gabbett{at}

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Cost-benefit analysis is a term often heard in the world of economics. Businesses seek to maximise profits by comparing the costs and benefits of a proposed venture. Cost-benefit analysis is a valuable analytical technique that can also inform decisions in the clinical sports medicine setting.1 Specifically, cost-benefit analysis provides a useful framework to quantify the relationship between the ‘benefit’ of improved performance from a given training load, and the associated ‘cost’ of increased injury risk.

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Elite sport provides a starting point for any discussion relating to the costs and benefits of high workloads. Elite players are often exposed to year-long training and high match frequencies, with periods of a congested calendar, which sometimes increases injury risk.2–4 These competitive demands place physical stress on players, requiring well-developed physical qualities to avoid injury and illness, and to perform optimally. While proposing an economic analysis for evaluating costs and benefits in sports medicine may sound surprising, it is a process managers …

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  • Twitter Follow Johann Windt at @JohannWindt and Tim Gabbett at @TimGabbet

  • Contributors TJG developed the initial concept for the paper. HTG and TJG wrote the initial draft of the paper. JW provided feedback on several versions of the paper. All the authors share equal responsibility for the content of the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.