Consider the chaos: creating ecological validity in the Return to Sport process

From the spectators who view from afar, to the backroom staff who work on the front-line, the beauty of sport is its unpredictability. Whether it is football played on the lush pitches of the English Premier League (EPL) or basketball on the gleaming courts of the National Basketball Association (NBA), movement in sport is spontaneous, reactive and non-linear. Movement in team sports is chaotic and highly variable, often initiated by the interaction between players, transition between phases of play and the direction/speed of the ball. As characteristics of movement in competition, it would seem logical and appropriate to progressively incorporate these qualitative aspects within a sports-specific reconditioning approach following injury. We recently proposed the `control-chaos continuum` as an adaptable framework for on-pitch rehabilitation in elite football, incorporating progressively greater perceptual and neurocognitive challenges. The concepts from which the framework was constructed also have the potential for application across other team sports including rugby, Australian rules football, basketball and American football. The question however remains: how can practitioners gradually replicate the team training environment and the conditions of `chaos` in rehabilitation while respecting the principle of specificity?
© Copyright 2020 British Journal of Sports Medicine. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd of the BMA. All rights reserved.

Subjects: health ecology medicine
Notations: organisations and events biological and medical sciences
Tagging: Coronavirus return to sport
Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
Published: 2020
Volume: Blog
Issue: Posted on 03 Jun 2020
Document types: blog
Language: English
Level: basic