There were trivial to small effects between the 2 seasons in the number of competitive games played, number of training session performed, and number of match injuries (Figure 5). Linear regression shown that number of training sessions performed, number of prevention sessions performed, and number of competitive games played were effective predictors of number of muscle strain/tear (R = 0.66, R 2 = 43%, SEE = 1.82, p < 0.05).
Although often the objective, it is questionable whether some types of exercise-based injury prevention programs actually facilitate true learning of new biomechanical and neuromuscular characteristics (41,43). Whereas, the effects of short duration exercise-based injury prevention programs may induce transient changes in the performance of functional tasks that regress after cessation of the program. To experience biomechanical and/or neuromuscular changes, it is likely that extended duration training periods are necessary to facilitate long-term retention of movement control (41). Yet, performing injury prevention drills over a prolonged period, as done in the present study, may still be insufficient to induce large reductions in the incidence of specific injuries. Essentially, players may respond differently to the training intervention program and should be a consideration for further detailed investigation. Alternatively, despite the program being performed during the entirety of the season, it is possible that the session or individual exercises themselves may have been of insufficient duration required to elicit large training adaptations. This is pertinent to elite-level athletes who generally possess relatively high levels of general fitness and would unlikely experience gains similar to lesser skilled individuals despite being at a greater risk of injury (16).
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