VSA’s Performance Pathway in 2017 has made impressive strides, with baseline testing, SPARQ and game conditioning. A combination of these new factors to the VSA travel program, has allowed huge improvements for injury prevention.
VSA has now structured a large part of player injury prevention on baseline fitness testing. Every player on that team records a score off the beep test, all scores are added together and then divided by the number of rostered players taking part in the beep test. Any players falling below the average, would then have their work to rest ratio lowered, and gradually would be pushed towards gaining match fitness, instead of isolated running causing high risk of injury, through fatigue and poor motor neuron response (muscles not being able to think as quickly as the brain acts!). It is then through the next round of baseline testing, that we would aim for that player to achieve the group average.
Statistically, VSA can show that out of over 700 registered travel players we only have had 9 total injuries this year (1.29%.) With the player and their well-being as the focal point of VSA’s methodology, it was vital the club would be able to quantify and monitor the physical demand placed on all players.
This is due to a result of VSA travel coaches working diligently, gradually increasing players work load on game conditioning nights, and following the periodization training implemented after VSA Technical staff attended World Football Academy, ran by Raymond Verheijen, world class football coach, and conditioning expert.
As well as the focus on injury prevention, statistically, VSA can announce that every single baseline tested team, has improved their mean average baseline testing result by at least 1 level or more. This goes to show, that instead of the conventional isolated running (which, results have shown to leave players at high risk of injury) VSA’s game conditioning nights and SPARQ implementation has improved fitness levels gradually, and kept all injuries minimal.