Gamecocks making changes that could ease up on injury issues
Jan. 09, 2020, | GCF Staff Report
Gamecocks staff has pinpointed a key practice change that could ease up on injury issues. New Gamecock strength coach, Paul Jackson, has a background in sprinting, and that ties into one of the things the Gamecocks staff saw go wrong last season.
Coach Muschamp has often stated that the training and the injuries is mostly about soft-tissue issues "as compared to broken bones or torn ligaments." Those mostly manifest themselves in hamstring injuries, and something that the Gamecocks were doing in practice the first half of last year might have been a factor there. Muschamp said. “You go back and look when we study the Catapult system, we actually were not having enough high effort runs. What we would classify, as Paul said 90, we said 80%, this past year, of some of our skill guys. We had some soft-tissue issues. We needed to have more high-effort runs than we were doing at practice.”
That percent refers to a player reaching their speed capacity on a given run. The Catapult system is wearable technology that allows the staff to track movement, speed, exertion and other biometric data. The summation of Muschamp’s plan involves more full-speed runs in practice. That way, when a player goes full speed in a game, they don’t push themselves too far. Muschamp also stated. “That’s something that we studied this past year after midway through the season and it was something that we implemented as the season was going on, moving forward. But those are all things that through the weight room and our training staff, they’re constantly crunching the numbers and give us the information.”
South Carolina went through a second injury-plagued season in a row, with more than 20 players missing more than 100 games they could have played. Unlike the season before, when knees and shoulders were the main culprit, soft tissue issues again popped up in 2019. Muschamp didn’t harp on them much during the season, but in his final televised coaching show, he mentioned that as a problem — less than a day before firing former strength coach Jeff Dillman. Jackson did say “I fully believe that you have to have exposure throughout the entire year to high speed sprinting to help them. With soft tissue injuries, you can’t get away from it for extended periods of time. “Having microdoses of that all throughout the year is going to be big.”