Kruisbandletsels: “Best injury prevention is planning and there is a head coach responsible for

Why tear there ‘suddenly’ a cruciate ligament in professional footballers in the richness of their lives, often even without an opponent in the vicinity ? And what can be prevention is more to be done than the classic ‘kniestabiliserende exercises’? The answer from Lieven De Veirman, Youth League Manager at the Saudi Arabian football federation.

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What I missed in the discussion around the kruisbandletsels is a clear frame of reference, a starting point. Specialists have very good and useful information, but often only from their perspective. The krachttrainer, for example, may find research that shows that strength training, sprint improves, and the physical therapist will find that we have more injury prevention should do. They have each in their domain are equal, but how fit? What do we do and when do we do it? What is more important? And should we really do or we have anything better to do? That’s a lot of questions that a head coach should be aware of.


The best injury prevention is the planning and there is the head coach responsible for

The proper perspective

First and foremost: is it really so bad with the operation, within clubs in terms of injury prevention or planning?

The UEFA conducts an annual study of the injuries during the past season. The studies of recent years show a clear trend of fewer injuries and greater availability of players during training and matches over the past 16 years. So there is, in view of the circumstances described below, worked well. This is in contrast to the figures of a similar study done during the european CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016, where logically the fatigue during the tournament builds up, and the risk of injury increases.

A second observation is that in most clubs a lot of knowledge and expertise is present, and that everything is being done to avoid injuries. Players can club food, training sessions are meticulously planned, blessurepreventieve programs are offered and individualized. With other words: nothing is left to chance.

What would we then head over to see?


Players need to be more explosive and more action.

The competition as a reference

Football today looks very different than 100 years ago. There was the evolution of dribbelvoetbal to the ‘passing game’, the ‘Total Football’ of Rinus Michels, the possession of the ball as a tool, the introduction of the buitenspelregel, the abolition of the back-pass, the 6-secondenregel, the influence of football of Barcelona and Spain, the counter-attack and, since a number of years, there is also the ‘Gegenpressing’.

The adjustments of the rules to soccer to make it more attractive and the evolution of the style of play to what we today like to see passing and constant pressing) raised the discussion to the intensity of the competition. The figures support this objective: players need to be more explosive and more action.

This also means more and better decisions. That invites a small digression into the influence of the brain on fatigue. Research by professor Samuel Marcora showed that higher demands of the brain affect the performance and how fatigue players experience. This means that it often must take decisions during a game and the pressure that players experience through better and more likely to have to perform a influence on fatigue and recovery.

If the match of our players requires that we be more explosive and more often have to act, then this, of course, that we also train. The logical consequence is that the trainings will also be reinforced.


More and more rarely together without risk.

A second trend in football is that the training content is nowadays closer to the reality of the contest is. The time of a low global warming without the ball and isolated forms without opponents to end up with a ‘matchke’ is as good as definitively behind us. Also in trainersopleidingen is the importance of wedstrijdecht training stresses. So: warm up with ball, rondo’s, balbezitvormen, types, all with opponents and in function of our style of play. That is a very good evolution. Players need to think more, and the quality of training is high. But what we have not adapted, is the planning. Still, we see teams 2 times a day training, 2 hour training, daily training, … More and more rarely together without risk.


Some federations shoot short by the schedule of competitions, not to adjust, for example, European midweekwedstrijden.

Third evolution in football is the increase of the number of matches. This was by Bart Dingenen cited in his op-ed on Football players need more matches to play and therefore get less time between games to recover. Here shoot some federations still lack the schedule of competitions, not to adjust, for example, European midweekwedstrijden.


That extra percentage to the player to improve, the percentages too much.

Last but not least: the external factors that all of the above with influence, such as the quality of the material and of the fields. Here and there, it is suggested that the fields there today, perfect hove to, so that the players therefore would not be able to injure. Correct, but the better balls and fields to ensure that the game is much faster. This increased the intensity and speed of football today.

In short, all these positive developments have raised the bar for players is very high. There is more and more of the body. Always we are looking for that extra percentage that we can do to make the players better. This is fatigue also greater.

And seen has already been demonstrated that fatigue leads to less good control of the nerves by the brain and the risk of kruisbandletsels thereby increases, we must do everything possible to make the body of the players the time and the tools to be as good as possible, to restore. Because that extra percentage to the player to improve, the percentages too much.


What we could do even better against kruisbandletsels

The periodization as preventietool

The best injury prevention is the planning and there is the head coach responsible for. Of course, he bases his decisions on the input of the players, the medical staff, the condition trainer and other assistants, but he ultimately decides what and when, is done.

In the planning is the starting point always is the contest. The purpose is the players 100 per cent fresh to the kick-off to get.

To better matches to play, we need to work out. Since we on the field need to communicate, make decisions, and decisions to carry out the team training the first moments that we have in our recording schedule. As for the above cases (team tactics), and our way of playing to improve, we must train together. The veldtrainingen must be of the best quality and therefore we bring the players as fresh as possible to the start of the training. The intensity of the training, the time and the duration are also dependent on the contest. By varying the intensity and the duration of the training, the football fitness of the players also automatically improved.


How small the tax is: she asks for recovery.

Outside the veldtrainingen, there are still a lot of hours to fill. Often we have a tendency to than a second veldtraining to give or do we want also some strength training or injury prevention.

A strength training with overload on the legs causing fatigue, both local and general, and has an influence on the training. Even exercises that only the upper body to appeal to, cause fatigue.

Functional exercises for the prevention of kruisbandletsels (as in the op-ed of Willem Timmermans on was cited) the best based on the logical movements of the sport and the human body. Basically, this means exercises or movements with the whole body, so even without additional weights, this is also ‘a tax’. The question is whether all the players on the field of injury prevention and strength training all at all the same planning is needed.

Because of how small the tax is: she asks for recovery. Recovery time that we might already insufficient in the planning. Completing the planning is, therefore, dependent on the situation of each team and within that, again depending on the individual.

Taking into account the evolution of the football, and the increasingly stringent requirements for the bodies of the players during matches and training sessions, we need the rest of those hours to very carefully plan with the ultimate goal of the players fresh for the kick-off of the match.


Players should also do everything possible to be fit, fresh and rested on the training and the competition to come.

Control over own body

The above information is not only important for clubs and trainers, but also for the players. They carry the largest responsibility in the contribution to the recovery of their body.

What do they do with it?

Recently, we saw examples in the press of what is absolutely not the intent.

Sergio Aguëro flying on a free day to Amsterdam for a concert. On the way to the airport he has an accident with broken ribs and a long period to result. Apart from the regrettable accident and the fact that the player is undoubtedly a great relaxation, you may be wondering what a top player from Manchester on a free day in Amsterdam. If the trainer an extra free day, most likely in consultation with the staff, because the matches follow each other quickly and the intensity of the training sessions have been very high and the players some extra rest, it is clear that you, the player, that day also is effective should rest.

Also the injury of Paul Pogba raises questions. Especially due to José Mourinho and his staff restore freshness and high commitment. It appears that Pogba extra training with a personal trainer outside the club and all enjoy a game of basket play, including spectacular dunks.

As a player, it is important that you stick to the program of the club and that all the extras in consultation with the staff happen.

That the new coach of Anderlecht upon arrival, players are met with a body fat of over 15 and even 20 per cent, shows that footballers are more aware with their body to have to deal. Those extra pounds increase the impact of each action on the body.

Players must therefore itself also do everything possible to be fit, fresh and rested on the training and the competition to come.


On time to go to sleep, and the internal biological clock, also restoring positive affect.

A few tips:

Sleep and biorhythms: research shows for years that insufficient sleep has a negative impact on injuries. For players it is 7 to 8 hours of sleep is not an unnecessary luxury. The quality of the sleep can be increased by a hot bath or a hot shower to take one and a half hours before bed (the body needs time to cool off, this process makes you sleepy). Sleep in a cool, dark room and all the screens turn off for a minimum of 1 hour before going to sleep, are a few tools according to slaapexpert Nick Littlehales.

Just recently, the Nobel prize for Medicine to the investigation of the internal biological clock. That regulates the sleep patterns, the release of hormones and the blood pressure. When the internal clock does not match with the environmental factors that affect the general well-being. So on time to go to sleep, and the internal biological clock, also restoring positive affect.


Every day 90-minute intensive training, and then the rest of the day lying and sitting is also not the solution.

Power supply: this has for many years and also often misinformed. The recently modified food pyramid is already a step in the right direction. Personally, I’m not an expert and I am here not to bold statements car, but a serving of common sense and interest in the domain players would already go a long way should be able to help. Because what we eat and when we eat has a major impact on recovery and performance.

Lifestyle: every day, 90 minutes of intensive training, and then the rest of the day lying and sitting, of course, is also not the solution. Football players often have a sedentary lifestyle and sometimes more than non-athletes, which also is not conducive for recovery.That examination period, regularly interrupting, in the literature also recommended for heart disease prevention.


The quality of your nutrition is crucial in the recovery: choose fresh, unprocessed and without added sugars.


For coaches

-Keep in mind the intensity and demands of the way you play when planning your training sessions.

-Make sure players are equipped to soccer practice can start. Additional programs such as strength training, injury prevention or other forms of movement need to be individually planned and should have no impact on the quality of the veldsessie.

-As head coach you are ultimately responsible, listen to the advice of your staff, but always in function of your training and competitions.

For players

-The requirements of the game are really high, you body must be in shape and you must do everything to promote recovery.

-Sleep enough and on time, turn the screens off 1 hour before bedtime and take a warm shower or a warm bath an hour and a half before.

-Avoid sit too long. Walking, household tasks, or doing work in the garden is also moving.

-The quality of your diet iscruciaal in the recovery: choose fresh, unprocessed and without added sugars.

Read also

New wave of kruisbandletsels in football raises questions

‘Just about every day hear or read that someone has a cruciate ligament tore’

“What we can do against kruisbandletsels’

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