Relationships Between Training Load Metrics and Injury in Collegiate Women's Soccer

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Virginia Tech


Injury risk reduction is an ever-evolving topic within an athletic environment. Consequences from an injury include participation time loss, financial, social, and personal costs. Coaching and medical staff strive to reduce the risk through various manners. Training load monitoring is one method that is utilized in injury risk reduction through global positioning systems (GPS) with statistical modeling. The purpose of this study was to investigate the external loads for training sessions and competition in starters versus non-starters; to determine if there were control chart violations associated with sustained injuries; and to determine whether in-season injuries were associate with one or more control chart violations. NCAA Division I female soccer players were recruited during the fall 2019 season. Participants were provided a STATSports GPS unit to wear during all practice and competition sessions to analyze the following variables: total distance, high metabolic load distance, sprints, accelerations, decelerations, and dynamic stress load (DSL). These variables were analyzed using statistical process control charts (SPC Charts) and Nelson Rules. Overall, there were 1,235 violations for the team, with the highest amount coming from DSL. Throughout the season, there were 16 time-loss injuries. Within the 3- and 7-day periods prior to injury, there were only two cases in which the injured athlete had more violations when compared to the team average. Therefore, SPC Charts were not a good indicator of injury risk prediction within this population. Future research includes reassessing these methods within a larger population and for a longer duration (i.e. several seasons).



injury, workload, statistical process control charts, Nelson rules