AAN: Head Impact Rates Higher for Soccer Training Activities
Team interaction activities, game play linked to highest rotational kinematics, but lowest impact rates
FRIDAY, July 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Technical training activities are associated with higher head impact rates and lower mean kinematics among young soccer players, according to a study scheduled to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology Sports Concussion Conference, held virtually from July 30 to 31.
N. Stewart Pritchard, from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues compared head impact exposure across common training activities in soccer. Eight U15 soccer players wore a custom instrumented mouthpiece sensor during all practices and games during two soccer seasons. On-field activities were recorded and all head contact events were identified each session. Head impact exposure was quantified in terms of peak kinematics and impacts per player.
The researchers found that activity types were associated with peak kinematics and rate of impact. There was an association noted for technical training activities with higher impact rates and lower mean kinematics compared with other activity types. The highest rotational kinematics and lowest impact rates were seen in association with team interaction activities and game play. Within technical training, team interaction, and game-play activities, the investigators observed a similar number of player-to-player contact events.
"Practices are more amenable to change than games," a coauthor said in a statement. "Therefore, understanding how we can restructure practice to reduce head impact exposure while teaching fundamental skills needed to safely play the sport is critical to improving head impact safety in the sport."