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Seven tips for developing and maintaining a high performance sports medicine team
  1. Tim J Gabbett1,2,
  2. Simon Kearney3,
  3. Leslie J Bisson4,5,6,
  4. Joe Collins5,6,
  5. Robby Sikka7,8,9,
  6. Nathan Winder10,
  7. Craig Sedgwick10,
  8. Ed Hollis11,
  9. Jeremy M Bettle12
  1. 1Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane, Australia
  2. 2University of Southern Queensland, Institute for Resilient Regions, Ipswich, Australia
  3. 3St. Kilda Football Club, Seaford, Australia
  4. 4Department of Orthopaedics, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  5. 5Buffalo Sabres National Hockey League Team, Buffalo, New York, USA
  6. 6Buffalo Bills National Football League Team, Buffalo, New York, USA
  7. 7Minnesota Vikings National Football League Team, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  8. 8Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  9. 9Tria Orthopaedic Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  10. 10Barnsley Football Club, Barnsley, UK
  11. 11Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, Leicester, UK
  12. 12Toronto Maple Leafs National Hockey League Team, Toronto, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tim J Gabbett, Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane 4011, Australia; tim{at}

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What should a highly effective sports medicine team look like?

In 1989, Stephen Covey published his highly acclaimed book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.1 This book, with sales exceeding 25 million copies, describes how individuals contribute to successful organisations, in part by fostering interdependence among staff. The multidisciplinary2 and interdependent3 nature of high-performance sporting teams have been highlighted in BJSM editorials. Central in these commentaries has been the importance of collective decision-making and shared responsibilities.2 With sports medicine teams growing rapidly, sport has become somewhat of an ‘arms race’, with team owners often convinced that the secret to developing a winning franchise lies in the quality of the backroom staff. When assembling a sports medicine team to support the coaches and athletes, what should owners be looking for? What are the characteristics of a highly effective sports medicine team? Here, we provide a perspective from 12 different high-performance organisations based in four countries.

Do the basics well

‘Doing the 1%-ers’ is a phrase used ad nauseam in sport. However, it takes a lot of ‘1%-ers’ to make 100%! The foundations of successful performance and injury prevention are based on a well-designed and implemented training programme …

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