I have seen athletes at the professional level and youth level play too many games. There are some real physical risks in contact and collision sports. In this video, I discuss why playing more than one game each week in these sports could be a bad idea.
A few years ago, researchers studied European professional soccer players. They looking for differences in injuries between players who played two matches per week compared to athletes who played in only one match per week. Did the extra game matter?
Definitely. The soccer players who competed in two matches per week had injury rates over six times higher than the players who played one match per week. Knee, ankle and thigh injuries were all much more common among the two-match players.
We need more research, but I suspect that this trend would hold true for most collision sports – football, rugby, lacrosse, soccer and more. Multiple games in one week can take a physical toll on the players. Serious injuries could occur if they did this most of the season.
In this video, I discuss some of the challenges with changing the schedules but also some of the benefits that might result in giving athletes more time to rest.