Predictive modelling of training loads and injury in Australian football Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract To investigate whether training load monitoring data could be used to predict injuries in elite Australian football players, data were collected from athletes over 3 seasons at an Australian football club. Loads were quantified using GPS devices, accelerometers and player perceived exertion ratings. Absolute and relative training load metrics were calculated for each player each day. Injury prediction models (regularised logistic regression, generalised estimating equations, random forests and support vector machines) were built for non-contact, non-contact time-loss and hamstring specific injuries using the first two seasons of data. Injury predictions were then generated for the third season and evaluated using the area under the receiver operator characteristic (AUC). Predictive performance was only marginally better than chance for models of non-contact and non-contact time-loss injuries (AUC<0.65). The best performing model was a multivariate logistic regression for hamstring injuries (best AUC=0.76). Injury prediction models built using training load data from a single club showed poor ability to predict injuries when tested on previously unseen data, suggesting limited application as a daily decision tool for practitioners. Focusing the modelling approach on specific injury types and increasing the amount of training observations may improve predictive models for injury prevention

publication date

  • 2018