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Early reintegration to training and match play following injury increases the risk of reinjury. However, having key players available benefits the team.1 Practitioners must balance these two components of the return to sport (RTS) process, combining evidence and clinical experience to estimate this risk, then plan and adapt RTS accordingly.1 Quantifying and monitoring training load is key in guiding this process while managing reinjury risk,2–4 and global positioning systems (GPS) provide a valid measure of external running loads.5 However, as practitioners, we should focus on both quantitative aspects of running load progression and qualitative characteristics of movement in competition. This includes highly variable, spontaneous and unanticipated movements (the conditions of ‘chaos’) reflecting the unpredictable nature of the sport.
In this editorial, we present the ‘control-chaos continuum’ (CCC) (figure 1), interlinking GPS variables, while progressively incorporating greater perceptual and reactive neurocognitive challenges.6 7 This framework moves from high control to high chaos, and is based on more than a decade of rehabilitation and RTS in the demanding setting of English Premier League football.
The control-chaos continuum
Using retrospective player chronic running loads (GPS) in …
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