Association of acute and chronic workloads with injury risk in high-performance junior tennis players

Victor Moreno-Pérez, Jaime Prieto*, Juan del Coso, José Ezequiel Lidó-Micó, Miguel Fragoso, Francisco José Penalva, Machar Reid, Babette M. Pluim

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study examined the association and predictive ability of several markers of internal workload on risk of injury in high-performance junior tennis players. Fifteen young, high-level tennis players (9 males, 6 females; age: 17.2 ± 1.1 years; height: 178.5 ± 8.7 cm; mass: 68.1 ± 4.8 kg) participated in this investigation. Data on injury epidemiology and internal workload during training were obtained for one competitive season. The session-rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE) was used to calculate internal workload markers in absolute (acute workload and chronic workload for 2-weeks, 3-weeks and 4-weeks) and relative terms (acute:chronic workload ratios [ACWR] for 2-weeks, 3-weeks and 4-weeks). Associations and diagnostic power for predicting tennis injuries were examined through generalised estimating equations and receiver operating characteristics analyses. During the season, a total of 40 injuries were recorded, corresponding to 3.5 injuries per 1000 h of tennis practice. The acute workload was highly associated with injury incidence (P=0.04), as injury risk increased by 1.62 times (95% CI: 1.01–2.62) for every increase of 1858.7 arbitrary units (AU) of the workload during the most recent training week. However, acute workload was a poor predictor of injury, and associations between injury and internal workload markers were weak (all P>0.05). These findings demonstrate an association between high values of acute workload and the risk of injury in high-level tennis players. However, a high acute workload is only one of the many factors associated with injury, and by itself, has low predictive ability for injury.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Early online date2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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