As teams and leagues prepare to return to competition in an unprecedented way amidst a global health crisis, the attention of performance practitioners around the world is largely on the ability to mitigate injury risk should competitions return with a schedule featuring increased congestion.
Catapult sports scientist, Kieran Howle, who previously worked with the Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia’s A-League, has co-published multiple research papers and recently recorded a webinar which defines what congested schedules are, provides a summary of relevant literature, shares some personal findings, and digs into a data-rich case study.
The key messages from the webinar include:
- Research on congested schedules report mixed findings for performance, recovery, and injury.
- The impact of congested schedules is dependent on unique aspects of individual teams – i.e. squad size, depth, playing experience, coaching/tactical style.
- No blueprint exists for ideal load management throughout these periods.
- Is a change in flagging/monitoring required?
- Focus on recovery and control the controllable.