Objectives: The primary purpose of this study was to describe an early detection and management strategy when monitoring in-season hip and groin strength, health and function in soccer. Secondly to compare pre-season to in-season test results. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Methods: Twenty-seven elite male youth soccer players (age: 15.07 ± 0.73 years) volunteered to participate in the study. Monitoring tests included: adductor strength, adductor/abductor strength ratio and hip and groin outcome scores (HAGOS). Data were recorded at pre-season and at 22 monthly intervals in-season. Thresholds for alerts to initiate further investigations were defined as any of the following: adductor strength reductions >15%, adductor/abductor strength ratio <0.90, and HAGOS subscale scores <75 out of 100 in any of the six subscales. Results: Overall, 105 alerts were detected involving 70% of players. Strength related alerts comprised 40% and remaining 60% of alerts were related to HAGOS. Hip adductor strength and adductor/abductor strength ratio were lowest at pre-season testing and had increased significantly by month two (p < 0.01, mean difference 0.26, CI95%: 0.12, 0.41 N/kg and p < 0.01, mean difference 0.09, CI95%: 0.04, 0.13 respectively). HAGOS subscale scores were lowest at baseline with all, except Physical Activity, showing significant improvements at time-point one (p < 0.01). Most (87%) time-loss were classified minimal or mild. Conclusions: In-season monitoring aimed at early detection and management of hip and groin strength, health and function appears promising. Hip and groin strength, health and function improved quickly from pre-season to in-season in a high-risk population for ongoing hip and groin problems.
Wollin, M., Thorborg, K., Welvaert, M., & Pizzari, T. (2018). In-season monitoring of hip and groin strength, health and function in elite youth soccer: Implementing an early detection and management strategy over two consecutive seasons. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21(10), 988–993. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2018.03.004