July 18, 2023

Monitoring Injuries and Player Availability at North Melbourne FC

Player data is captured from GPS, wearables, and other devices, and consolidated in simple graphical dashboards. White and Teamworks’ Consultant Jack Halley built a form to monitor athlete availability and injury incidence, which also details the classification and mechanism of the injury. This allows for the creation of rolling availability charts, seasonal comparisons, and insights into individual and group trends.

Injuries per round is one of the most common views used by NMFC. This shows how many players were hurt per match week. If they want to dive deeper, Smartabase also breaks the injuries down into four major categories. White and his colleagues can then determine which incidents were uncontrollable – such as illnesses or injuries sustained in tackles or other collisions – and those that were controllable. White’s performance team can also see those players who are unavailable because of suspension or another disciplinary action. 

With all this information, the coaching staff knows exactly who’s available for upcoming training sessions and games and is updated in real time on the status of unavailable players. 

“Hopefully we can minimize the uncontrollable injuries, maintain minimal soft tissue and overuse injuries, and get some of the cavalry coming back soon, which will increase the availability of the squad for the last nine games of the season.”
Kevin White, Head of Performance

Responsive Data Reporting

Logging such injury data in Smartabase and overlaying it with whether the team wins, loses, or draws in each round enables NMFC to run reports that offer deeper availability and injury monitoring insights for staff. For example, they realized that in the past year, 84% of matches lost were attributable to uncontrollable incidents, including a high rate of traumatic injuries in the first half of the season. 

By comparison, the rate of controllable injuries was very low, and as White’s department is constantly adjusting programming based on data-driven decisions, it should continue to decrease. This will improve player availability across the squad and allow the club to field its best players more consistently, elevating the chances of winning each round. 

The team targets an 85% availability rate which would mean 24 of the AFL squad and 15 reserves could be selected each week. Staff can quickly see in a Smartabase chart whether NMFC hits, exceeds, or falls short of this metric every week. 

“The biggest impact with injury from our perspective is squad availability for our games. We've had pretty high availability throughout the first 14 rounds. We generally look for a KPI of above 85%, and with the strong availability that we've had so far in the first half of the season, it lends itself to some strong performances.”
Kevin White, Head of Performance

Learn More

To learn more about how NMFC is using Smartabase to proactively manage performance, selection, player development, injury management, and wellness data, read their full success story. Want to explore how Smartabase can benefit your organization? Contact us

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