An Interdisciplinary Approach to Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement in NCAA Division I Baseball

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Much of the current literature related to injuries in sport has addressed the influence of a particular exercise intervention on a specific type of injury without considering changes in sport performance. The purpose of this research was to investigate an interdisciplinary approach to athlete development and its initial effects on injury rates and measures of performance in collegiate baseball. In October 2008, an NCAA Division I baseball team began working with a sport performance enhancement group (SPEG) which consists of a collaborative effort between sport coaches, sport medicine and sport science departments. Injury rates were calculated for each academic year from 2006/2007 through 2010/2011. As part of the athlete monitoring program provided through SPEG, peak force was measured using an isometric mid-thigh pull from 2008/2009 through 2010/2011. Team win percentage and home runs were also reported from 2003/2004 through 2010/2011. Compared to 2006/2007 and 2007/2008, injury rates during 2008/2009 decreased 40% and 16%, 2009/2010 decreased 64% and 48%, while 2010/2011 decreased 33% and 6%. Team mean allometrically scaled isometric peak force (IPFa) increased each year from 2008/2009 through 2010/2011 (200.6 N, 229.6 N, 244.2 N). IPFa during 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 were significantly greater than 2008/2009 (p = .001 and .002). Win percentage increased from 2008/2009 through 2010/2011 (47%, 53%, 63%) and the 2010/2011 win percentage was higher than any other year since 2003/2004. Total team home runs during 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 were higher than any other season since 2003/2004. These results seem to indicate that the collaborative efforts of SPEG were able to substantially reduce injury rates while increasing lab based and on-field performance.


Jacksonville, FL

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