INJURIES HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON PLAYER PROGRESSION IN AN ELITE FOOTBALL ACADEMY
Jon Larruskain, PhD, Football Scientist, Athletic Club
Professional football clubs aim to develop future First team players in their youth academies.
We, as Sports Medicine and Science practitioners, perceive that remaining injury-free is one of the many important aspects in player development (McCall et al., 2016). However, we often find that players, coaches and academy directors are not aware of the importance of working towards maximizing player availability, or that a gap between awareness and actual practice exists. The impact of injuries on team performance, economy and player health are well established (Ekstrand et al., 2013), but little is known about the influence of injuries on player progression in an academy (Le Gall et al., 2008).