Deceleration training in team sports: another potential 'vaccine' for sports-related injury?

Review written by Dr Teddy Willsey info

Key Points

  1. Training, testing, and monitoring used in team sports to quantify athletic performance, workload, and injury risk assessment, pay greater attention to acceleration and high-speed running than they do deceleration.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Deceleration has not been given enough attention as a skill to train, test and monitor in team sports settings. When it comes to assessing athletic ability, greater attention is given to acceleration and high-speed running (1). An increased focus on deceleration technique and capacity may help to improve athletic performance, monitor workload data, and mitigate injury risk. Deceleration in this context refers to the specific horizontal locomotive action that precedes a change of direction maneuver or involves a rapid reduction in momentum immediately following a sprint.

When compared to accelerations, high intensity decelerations occur more frequently in many team sports (2). Deceleration in team sport typically occurs in an unplanned environment within constrained timeframes and spaces, leaving minimal time for anticipatory movement.

The purpose of this opinion article was to highlight the potential importance of assessing, training, and monitoring deceleration capacity for both injury risk and performance in team sports.

When compared to accelerations, high intensity decelerations occur more frequently in many team sports.
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The risk of catastrophic injury during deceleration is far greater than it is during acceleration and high-speed running locomotive patterns.

METHODS

The authors presented a well-researched and thorough opinion piece full of practical considerations and suggestions for future areas of research.

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