German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 489–497 | Cite as

Leaving injury prevention theoretical? Ask the coach!—A survey of 1012 football coaches in Germany

  • Christian KleinEmail author
  • Thomas Henke
  • Patrick Luig
  • Petra Platen
Main Article


High injury rates in football (soccer) suggest an urgent need for preventive approaches. Theoretical models illustrating systematic sports injury prevention procedures typically consider descriptions of injury epidemiology and etiology, but do not regard the knowledge and specific needs of important stakeholders within sport practice. This might be one reason why there is still a research-to-practice gap-reducing effectiveness of preventive approaches under real life conditions. Thus, the present study asks football coaches, as the most important decision-makers among coaching and medical staff, for their opinions about injuries and prevention. A random sample of 2000 German football coaches was drawn from the database of the German Football Federation (DFB) and invited to participate in an online survey; of these, 1012 (50.6%) were included for analysis. Participants were subdivided by age categories, coaching licenses, and performance levels of the teams they coached. Overall, lack of fitness/athletics was rated as the most important risk factor for injuries, followed by previous injuries and lack of regeneration. Coordination and core stabilization training as well as regeneration were stated as the most beneficial preventive areas. The results suggest that in general, periodization, load monitoring and reintegration of injured players must be given greater priority in future preventive approaches. Education curricula for lower-level coaching licenses should focus on basic physiology, fundamental medical and physiotherapeutic support, and on low-threshold possibilities of testing and training. To gain a more professional oriented license, coaches should qualify as decision-makers within a team of experts and be taught leadership competence and communication skills.


Soccer Implementation Adherence Compliance Decision Maker 

Mit der Verletzungsprävention in der Theorie verharren? Besser den Trainer fragen! – Eine Befragung von 1012 Fußballtrainern in Deutschland


Hohe Verletzungsraten im Fußball weisen auf einen dringenden Bedarf an Präventivmaßnahmen hin. Theoretische Modelle zur systematischen Sportverletzungsprävention berücksichtigen üblicherweise die Beschreibung der Epidemiologie sowie der Ätiologie von Verletzungen, betrachten jedoch nicht die Expertise und Bedürfnisse wichtiger Akteure aus der Sportpraxis. Dies könnte ein Grund sein, weshalb wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse in der Sportpraxis häufig keine Berücksichtigung finden und die Effizienz präventiver Maßnahmen unter Realbedingungen reduziert ist. Daher wurden in der vorliegenden Studie Fußballtrainer, als wichtigste Entscheidungsträger innerhalb des Trainer- und Betreuerstabs, nach ihrer Meinung hinsichtlich Verletzungen und Prävention befragt. Eine zufällige Stichprobe von 2000 Fußballtrainern aus der Datenbank des Deutschen Fußball-Bundes (DFB) wurde eingeladen, an der Onlinebefragung teilzunehmen. Insgesamt 1012 Trainer (50,6 %) wurden in die Datenauswertung eingeschlossen. Die Teilnehmer wurden nach Altersgruppen, Trainerlizenzen und Leistungsklasse der trainierten Mannschaften unterteilt. Insgesamt wurde mangelnde Fitness/Athletik als größter Risikofaktor für Verletzungen bewertet, gefolgt von Vorverletzungen und mangelnder Erholung. Koordinations- und Rumpfstabilisationstraining sowie Regenerationsmaßnahmen wurden als wichtigste präventive Bereiche erachtet. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass bei zukünftigen präventiven Ansätzen insbesondere auf die Themen Periodisierung, Belastungssteuerung und Reintegration von verletzten Spielern fokussiert werden sollte. In der Ausbildung der unteren Trainerlizenzen sollten vermehrt Grundlagen der Physiologie sowie der medizinischen und physiotherapeutischen Betreuung und niedrigschwellige Möglichkeiten der Diagnostik und Intervention geschult werden. Zur Erlangung einer eher professionell ausgerichteten Trainerlizenz sollten Trainer zu Entscheidungsträgern innerhalb eines Expertenteams ausgebildet und Führungskompetenz sowie Kommunikationsfähigkeit geschult werden.


Fußball Implementation Adhärenz Akzeptanz Entscheidungsträger 



The authors thank the 1012 coaches for participating in this survey and thereby supporting scientific work. We also thank the DFB for disseminating the survey within the target group.

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

C. Klein, T. Henke, P. Luig and P. Platen declare that they have no competing interests.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fakultät für Sportwissenschaft, Lehr- und Forschungsbereich Sportmedizin und SporternährungRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Bezirksverwaltung Bergisch GladbachVerwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG)Bergisch GladbachGermany
  3. 3.Bezirksverwaltung DuisburgVerwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft (VBG)DuisburgGermany

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