“Prevent injuries by improving performance”, the secret of the Miami Magic FC manager
Young Miami Magic FC manager Marco Canolintas explains how it would be possible to prevent injuries while improving performance on the pitch. “Since the beginning of my studies – Canolintas explains – I have always seen videos of trainers of important teams doing injury prevention sessions, and, frankly, I never understood their meaning. How can an injury be prevented? To date, no one knows. Despite the continuous progress of research, the statistics relating to injuries in football seem to be increasing”. For the Miami Magic FC fitness coach, it seems clear that everyone is wrong about something, but what? “The first fundamental point is that no injury can be prevented, but he – he explains – we should talk about injury reduction, this must be the real goal. The injury to the neuromuscular system is caused by the interaction of three factors: individual biomechanics, load dosage and tissue resilience. From here – continues Canolintas – we should start to try to reduce injuries, not train players to walk and perform squat movements on Bosu and jellyfish that have nothing to do with performance on the pitch. The first factor is to work on the biomechanics of the sporting gesture in relation to the individual. How does each athlete sprint, brake, accelerate, change direction, jump? These are the screening tests that – he explains by revealing his secrets – I carry out in the pre-season, not only from a quantitative point of view (test result) but above all qualitative. This allows me to understand the needs of each player and work on them to optimize the efficiency of these movements, avoiding overloading tissues not designed to cushion that load, reducing the incidence of injuries“. The young Italian at the helm of the stars and stripes team continues by saying: “The second factor is the dosage of the load, which includes both the training load to which each athlete is exposed and the recovery that is granted. In this – he explains – the role of the trainer is fundamental. It isn’t just a matter of monitoring the load coming from athletic work but the entire session, now possible thanks to the use of GPS. GPS analysis allows me to monitor over time how each athlete adapts to the imposed load and, therefore, to adapt it to their individual and team needs. Furthermore – he continues – it’s essential to understand how quickly he recovers from the previous stimulus and in this the athlete-staff communication is the key. An efficient and practical method is the use of well-being questionnaires that players fill out before each training session to find out about their psycho-physical condition and adapt training“. A key factor for Marco Canolintas is to educate players about the sleep and nutrition that are the foundation of recovery. The last point is, however, the resilience of the fabrics. This is partly genetically determined and explains how a player may be more prone to injury than others for the same training load and biomechanics. An interesting concept revealed by researcher Keith Barr concerns the relationship between tendon and muscle. It explains how a high stiffness of the tendon allows excellent performance but, at the same time, a greater stiffness of the tendon than that of the muscle can cause muscle injury due to strain. Therefore it’s essential that a trainer is able to plan a workout aimed at both improving performance and increasing endurance against injuries.