My take on the Hamstring Injuries and Game Speed…

Now I’ll keep this short because this is all it needs to be to explain what I think is happening in the game of football with these injuries.

As the speed of the game increases, the physical stress on the player increases. Now this increase in stress and exertion requires more time to recover from and in the sporting world it’s not linear. For example, a 2-fold increase in intensity might cause a 4-fold increase in recovery time. In other words, the better, bigger, stronger and faster you are or play, the more you are taxing your body and the longer you will need to recover from that effort or game.

As an outsider looking in, I can guess that the game speed is causing a demand for an increase in recovery time of the players but this must be matched with a decrease in training volume during the week. I think teams don’t understand this very well and try to keep up training load and volume regardless of the game performance. We’ve touched on this previously and the hamstring is usually the first muscle to go in athletes and it’s nearly ALWAYS due to fatigue caused by inadequate recovery.

The priority is the game people, not volume during training. Let the players be fresh for the game and they will be injury free, motivated and ready to perform at their capacity.

(I would go so far as to suggest that this is the reason why teams show show much inconsistency these days, they are never fully recovered before the next game)

I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts on the topic…

About Clint Youlden

Clint Youlden is a High Performance Sports Scientist that specializes in the biomechanics/coaching and training of speed and is also the inventor (and patent holder) of a training method that simultaneously increases all aspects of athletic performance. He deals with skill acquisition, training, nutrition, supplementation, and recovery of athletes. You can contact him on 0402 498 798 or at [email protected]


  1. Yes, the game is going very fast, for most teams!

    What would be “adequate recovery” for a hamstring?

  2. Cannonball – agree. I’ve often thought about the inconsistency thing and usually come to the conclusion its a mental problem. But you make a good point here. When your team loses (a good example was Geelong losing to Carlton) they are usually trying hard but just can’t make the contest or can’t kick the goal or can’t break the tackle. Its probably fatigue related; physical and mental.

    I’m biased because I barrack for Geelong, but I think they have been at the fore front of recognising fatigue in players. Often players miss games because of “soreness”. I reckon it is genuine soreness and rather than push the players through they rest them. Most of Geelong’s mid field in particular will miss games because of “soreness” this year. I think we’ll see more of it.

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