“When reading an article, I’m always looking to understand how this could look in practice. By following this protocol, the participants have clearly produced some impressive results, and considering the risk associated with concussion described in the attached video (HERE), it is not surprising that we’d want to reduce this risk.
However, the following question has come to mind: ‘Would an adolescent follow this routine unsupervised?’. I fear that ‘buy-in’ from grassroots players would prove challenging, with many struggling to adhere to this on a daily basis. In addition, paired work may prove challenging, as some adolescents may not manage this task maturely and could cause undue harm to a peer.
Hypothetically, if all of our athletes did complete this protocol 3 or more times a week, we would have to ask ourselves as practitioners if this is the best use of their time. In contact sports (rugby, Muay Thai, racing etc.), this may be considered an easy win on the athletic development journey, as the risk of concussion may be high.
However, in football or athletics, the risk of an ACL injury, hamstring, or ankle injury may be far greater and worthier of their training time. Moreover, pursuing these qualities may support other athletic aptitudes (strength, power, speed as examples), which could also support performance and injury prevention. With limited time as a practitioner, it may be more beneficial to tackle areas where there is an increased likelihood of injury built on the sports need analysis. In my own practice, I’m going to include two isometric neck strengthening activities every session (3 times a week) for a few weeks as part of the warm-up to see how this goes.”