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How subjective wellbeing and training load contribute to the injury and illness risk in young female soccer players

Summary of a survey study looking at subjective wellbeing (fatigue, mood, soreness, stress, sleep quality), sleep duration and training load influence risk of injury and illness in young female soccer (football) players.

Who

75 female soccer players aged on average 15.5 (±1.6) (range 13-18) (USA).

Design

Survey data collected daily for 20 weeks via fitfor90.com.

Outcome measures

  • sports injuries - “any injury that occurred during a soccer training or game and resulted in the athlete being unable to continue to participate”

  • acute injury - “with a sudden onset during an identifiable event”

  • overuse injury - with “a gradual onset and unrelated to a specific event”

  • illness - “any illnesses that resulted in restriction from participation in soccer events, including the date of onset and predominant symptoms”

  • training load, wellbeing (fatigue, mood, soreness, stress, sleep quality), sleep duration

  • all self-reported

Main results

  • 84.7% of possible data was collected in this study.
  • 36 injuries in 28 athletes and 54 illnesses in 33 athletes were recorded.
  • Lower mood and higher daily and prior day training load were predictors of acute injury.
  • Higher preceding weekly and monthly training load were predictors of illness.
  • Other measures of wellbeing could not predict injury or illness in this study.

Take home message

For a clinician
Lower mood and higher daily and prior day training load were predictors of acute injury. and higher preceding weekly and monthly training load were predictors of illness in young female soccer players.
For a parent
Lower mood and higher training load are risk factors for injury in young girls playing soccer.
For an athlete
If you are a young girl who plays soccer, recognise that if your mood is low and you are training really hard, you may be at risk of an injury. Take care of your recovery more during this time (e.g., sleep more than 8h a day, reduce stress in your life).

Original article

Watson A, Brickson S, Brooks A, Dunn W. Subjective well-being and training load predict in-season injury and illness risk in female youth soccer players. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Feb 1;51(3):194-9.

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