The skin is the body’s largest organ and lies at the interface between the athlete and the sports milieu. In this series, Nella Grilo discusses dermatological conditions pertinent to athletes, such as traumatic injuries, environmental insults, infections, precancerous lesions, and skin cancer. In part one, Nella will explore the anatomy and function of the skin.... MORE
Decelerate to vaccinate: putting the brakes on sports injury
Paper Title: Deceleration Training in Team Sports: Another Potential ‘Vaccine’ for Sports-Related Injury
Publication: Sports Med
Publication date: October 2021
Sprinting improves performance and reduces the risk of injury. Deceleration precedes a change of direction (COD) and reduces momentum when slowing down while running. High-intensity deceleration occurs more often than acceleration in team sports, such as football, hockey, rugby, and soccer. At the same time, deceleration training involves high-impact braking ground reaction forces that predispose the lower limb to tissue damage, loss of stiffness, and neuromuscular fatigue. In addition, athletes require coping strategies to handle the high-intensity deceleration demands of matches and training. Therefore, deceleration training may provide clinicians with an alternative strategy to reduce injury risk.
This narrative review provides a background for deceleration training to improve performance and reduce injury. In addition, the authors investigated theoretical frameworks to develop deceleration training methods.
High-intensity horizontal decelerations are performed frequently in team sport match play and possess unique biomechanical and physiological characteristics.
|Deceleration Properties||Injury Consideration||Performance Consideration|
|Deceleration increases the:|
1. Magnitudes of horizontal braking impulse in foot
2. Impact peak force and loading rates
3. Joint angular velocity
|1. Increase musculoskeletal loading|
2. Eccentric power absorption in the lower body
|Helps in force application for re-acceleration into a new direction|
|Eccentric training forces are greater than those in concentric or isometric training||Increased force leads to muscle damage and greater neuromuscular and mechanical fatigue||Increased mechanical & metabolic efficiency|
|Increased quadriceps and greater relative hamstring activation||Reducing the risk of anterior displacement of the tibia ultimately reduces the risk of ACL injury||Increase braking force|
|Increased pre-impact muscle activation and mechanical buffering capacity of the tendon||Reduce the rate of active muscle fascicle lengthening and eccentric force inputs||Increased ability to generate and attenuate intense braking forces|
|Increase sarcomeres in series and tissue tolerance||Reduce the adverse effects of muscle damage and neuromuscular fatigue||Increased expression of force-velocity characteristics|
Team sport requires athletes to develop robust musculoskeletal capacity and adapt to high-intensity horizontal deceleration. Clinicians should carefully monitor athletes’ deceleration training load, assess compensatory movement strategies, and formulate acceleration-deceleration profiles to maximize performance and reduce injury risk. The use of high-speed cameras, radar technology, and satellite tracking systems may improve evaluation and monitoring during deceleration training. Future research needs to investigate the optimal deceleration training dose.