To establish the relationship between the acute:chronic workload ratio and lower-extremity overuse injuries in professional basketball players over the course of a competitive season.
The acute:chronic workload ratio was determined by calculating the sum of the current week’s session rating of perceived exertion of training load (acute load) and dividing it by the average weekly training load over the previous 4 wk (chronic load). All injuries were recorded weekly using a self-report injury questionnaire (Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center Injury Questionnaire20). Workload ratios were modeled against injury data using a logistic-regression model with unique intercepts for each player.
Substantially fewer team members were injured after workload ratios of 1 to 1.49 (36%) than with very low (≤0.5; 54%), low (0.5–0.99; 51%), or high (≥1.5; 59%) workload ratios. The regression model provided unique workload–injury trends for each player, but all mean differences in likelihood of being injured between workload ratios were unclear.
Maintaining workload ratios of 1 to 1.5 may be optimal for athlete preparation in professional basketball. An individualized approach to modeling and monitoring the training load–injury relationship, along with a symptom-based injury-surveillance method, should help coaches and performance staff with individualized training-load planning and prescription and with developing athlete-specific recovery and rehabilitation strategies.
The authors are with Sports Performance Research Inst New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.