Changes in coaching staff occur throughout athletics, coaches are promoted, fired, retire, move positions, move to other programs and more. Coaching changes can affect athletes in a way you may or may not think of.
Often a new head coach and/or new head conditioning coach will make significant changes to fitness routines of running, lifting, and finishing exercises which enhances the risk of injury if there is not adequate preparation. This goes back to the adage of ‘risk versus reward’ as many times coaching and activity changes are necessary to acquire a winning environment.
What is known through studies is that – “recent research indicates that coach replacement might increase the number of muscle injuries within teams.” It must be understood that coach replacement doesn’t always mean the head of the program, assistant coaches bring their own sets of drills to practice and conditioning coaches as well.
New coaches introduce activities they have found success with, and these drills are often unique to an athlete and change the physical load of training. In a changing environment a player may train harder to maintain or obtain their standing with their new assistant. This adds to their normal physical stress increasing muscular risk.
Change will always occur. Understanding the effect, it can have on an individual’s physical system and instituting drills accordingly will accelerate development, enhance performance, and increase the overall chance of winning.