Physical preparation for netball – part 1: needs analysis and injury epidemiology

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Paul Gamble

Physical preparation for sports is typically undertaken with the dual aim of enhancing performance and guarding against injury. The latter objective is particularly important in the case of female team sports players, given the higher rates of lower limb injury that are characteristically observed among these athletes. As a sport that is played exclusively by females at elite level, netball carries a level of intrinsic injury risk in the same way as observed with other female team sports. In the case of netball, it would appear that there are additional extrinsic risk factors due to the rules of the sport. In particular, the rule that players must come to a stop within one and a half steps after receiving the ball places added emphasis upon rapid deceleration, stopping, and landing movements. These movements are often specifically implicated in the injury mechanisms for knee and ankle injury in particular.

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