Injuries in adolescents and coaches' attitude towards injury prevention in Ladies Gaelic Football
Ní Chaomhánaigh, Emma
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Background: Sports participation has an inherent risk of injury, however, this injury risk does not outweigh the physiological, psychological and social benefits observed with sports participation. There is a current lack of injury epidemiological research within Ladies Gaelic football, particularly within adolescents, which is important for the development for specific injury prevention measures. Specific Gaelic football injury prevention programmes (IPP) have been developed, however, coaches’ current use and attitude towards IPP implementation in Ladies Gaelic football are currently unknown. Aims: In Ladies Gaelic football; (1) identify injury incidence, severity, location, nature and mechanisms in adolescents and (2) identify coaches’ attitude towards, ability and willingness to implement IPP and current injury prevention implementation practices. Methods: Injury epidemiology was collected prospectively by the primary investigator through weekly injury assessments with training logs self-completed weekly by players. Coaches’ attitude towards IPP were gathered using an online survey. The online survey was validated using a three-round Delphi review process with a panel of experts. Results: In study one an injury incidence of 10.32 injuries per 1,000 hours was observed with a greater injury incidence observed during match play than training (17.60 vs 5.83 injuries per 1,000 hours). Lower extremity injuries were predominant (70%), with the calf the most injured body part (30%). Over one-third of injuries resulted in more than 24 hours’ time lost from participation. In study two, less than half of coaches (47.8%) reported using elements of IPPs, with the lack of coach knowledge and information (81.5%) the most commonly reported barrier to implementation. Coaches had a positive attitude and willingness to participate in IPPs for the majority, but less than a third (30.4%) of coaches had strong perceived ability to implement an IPP, particularly underage and club level coaches. Conclusion: Injuries are an issue within adolescent Ladies Gaelic football, and although coaches are willing and have a positive attitude towards IPPs, the ability of underage and club level coaches to implement an IPP is limited. An injury prevention educational programme for Ladies Gaelic football coaches should be developed to provide coaches with further information and training on implementing currently available IPPs that are accessible and practical without the need for additional equipment and facilities.
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