FA Medical Society- “Readiness to train” reflections

So I am currently travelling home from another evening of lectures at the FA Medical Society up in London. The theme of this evening’s lectures all related to “readiness to train” and screening of our athletes. Below are some of the key points that I took from the evening;

  1. Snapshot or trend? This is one of the key points for me when we decide upon our screening protocols and philosophies, are we looking to pull someone out based upon how they look today, or how they have looked for the past 3/4 testing sessions? I think the discussions from Dr Craig Roberts covered this discussion nicely and his approach of taking a longer term picture of the athlete into your MDT discussions allows for a much more reasoned approach to their ongoing management. Also the point from Daniel Cohen suggesting that Spanish teams do not screen for baseline data on the first day back also appeared to back this up, as they believe that they are not taking a valid snapshot by screening players when they first return.
  2. “Data allows better conversations between the MDT”- This quote from Daniel Cohen again hit home from me, and links in to the talk from Dr Craig Roberts who highlighted the recent paper from Ekstrand (2018). This paper suggests the link between medical departments with a strong communication link to their head coach, and ultimately successful team outcomes. If the reason that we are collecting data is to improve the conversation between ourselves and our manager then this evenings talks would probably suggest that this is a more than valid reason.
  3. All our data must be phase, sport and club specific!! Again a theme from the first two talks, with research to support this comment. If we are to identify players who are not tolerating load then it is important that we recognise that we cannot just set norms based upon generic literature. We must look to utilise the individuals baselines and ongoing trends. Daniel Cohen made reference to the fact that data coming from skiers and footballers is likely to be completely different when looking at asymmetries due to the different nature of the sports.


Below are some key references from tonights talks;

Ekstrand (2018)- Communication Quality- https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2018/08/21/bjsports-2018-099411

Cormack et al. (2013)- Influence of neuromuscular fatigue on accelerometer load in elite Australian football players- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23170747

McCall et al. (2015)- Reliability of simple posterior chain isometric test- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25845799


Thanks as ever to @FAMS_SE for organizing the evening and to the speakers- Links to their individual twitter pages can be found below.

Daniel Cohen

Dr Craig Roberts

Mikael Liimatainen

Vald Performance



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