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72% Of All Football Injuries Are NON Contact (Here's What To Do)

Updated: Apr 17


Non contact injuries make up 72% of all injuries in football...

Yes it's true that sometimes there are freak accidents on the pitch that we just can't control, but when it comes to NON contact injuries - there are things a player can do in their own training to greatly reduce the risk of becoming one of the stats below, let's break them down.

Running/sprinting 36%:

Greatly influenced by a players ability to absorb and exert high force at speed and in multiple directions efficiently and repeatedly. This also ties into movement mechanics, posture, the use of appropriate training loads and workload tracking. All of these are within a players control.

Overuse 19%:

Again ties into tracking workload but also nutrition and sleep. Adaptations and progress from conditioning training occur during RECOVERY, a players fitness is actually decreasing when they're training. It's providing the stimulus for improvement, but if a player repeatedly trains hard without ensuring good recovery and nutrition, it will lead to fatigue, burnout, and possibly illness and muscular injuries caused by a spike in workload and/or inefficient recovery. The opposite of what you want from your hard training efforts.

Kicking the ball 19%:

A very explosive and demanding action which requires the ability to generate high force at speed whilst remaining stable. A safe connection with more efficient use of power can be made with good stability of the standing leg, engagement of the core muscles as the ball is struck and good levels of max strength, power endurance and flexibility in the key muscles involved in striking the ball. Muscle tears in the quads are a common one when repeatedly striking the ball with power.

Changing direction 11%:

The ability to quickly stop and push off in another direction requires the skill to absorb and produce high force at speed whilst possessing an optimal level of joint/muscle mobility/flexibility and stiffness to protect against injury whilst maximising performance. Possessing muscles with the quality to quickly and effectively go from an eccentric to concentric contraction is a key element here, and again, can be trained.

Jumping & landing 9%:

Again ties into the capacity to absorb force effectively and be aware of the position of different parts of the body as a player makes contact with the ground. When dropping from height a player will need the skill and qualities to be able to absorb multiple times their own bodyweight.

Stretching & sliding 7%:

There are times when a players body will be forced into awkward, unsafe and unpredictable positions on the pitch, so it's important that they have the ability to quickly react and remain as controlled as possible in the face of these situations. This again ties heavily into the body's ability to suddenly be aware of it's position so it can make split second corrections and muscle activations to protect the body against injury as much as possible.

Of course a player can never completely remove the risk of injury, but hopefully you can see that every player can be doing things to greatly reduce their injury risk, and it's pretty exciting that YOU CAN have an element of control and injuries aren't always just "down to luck".

And I've not even mentioned the performance benefits of training for all of these qualities too!

Comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Looking for a strength and conditioning programme for a youth footballer?

We have two options:

  1. The Matchfit Youth Elite Programme (For Players 12-18 Aiming For Pro Club Or International Selection)

  2. The Matchfit Method Youth Footballer S&C Programme (Ages 9-18)

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1 Comment

hmsamie 14
hmsamie 14
Jun 01, 2022

Thanks very much James, as ever

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