“Return to Play”: The Key Metric for Physical Trainers

Return to play métrica futbol

There are certain metrics that demarcate the GPS technology use into “before” and “after”, and "Return to play" is definitely one of them. Find out why more physical trainers are paying attention to it and how it helps prevent injury recurrence.

What Is “Return to Play”?

The “Return to play”, or how it could also be referred to – “Return to compete”, metric is used to prevent the recurrence of injuries (primarily muscular ones) and indicates the moment when a player can return to competitions having suffered an injury.

The metric is measured in percentages (%), in which 100% represents the moment when a player can go back to competitions. Thanks to GPS technology, proper load monitoring allows physical trainers to track players in a specific manner, ensuring that they do not return to competition before the very right moment, thus avoiding injury recurrence.

return to play
Women statistically have a higher likelihood of sustaining injuries. That is why an increasing number of women's teams are incorporating GPS technology to monitor their players.

The percentage of the metric is obtained by comparing the maximum speed and maximum acceleration achieved prior to the injury with the same values after the injury. Experts claim that competing without reaching 90% of the pre-injury values significantly increases the risk of injury.

What Are the Benefits of the “Return to Play” Metric?

The main benefit of the “Return to play” is that it optimizes recovery period without jeopardizing the injured player. This aspect ensures that a player does not return to competition before it is safe to do so, minimizing the risk of injury recurrence.

The second benefit is the optimization of club resources. Each player's injury entails the cost of recovery and the temporary loss of a club resource. Therefore, injury prevention with GPS technology presents a cost-effective solution for clubs and sports institutions in general.

Injuries GPS Technology
GPS technologies also offer other metrics for injury prevention. Using OLIVER, you get access to an innovative injury profile.

How to Prevent Injuries with OLIVER’s GPS Technology?

The "Return to play" metric is one of the tools that OLIVER offers for injury prevention. Besides that, OLIVER has an injury dashboard with an intuitive interface that helps you control and handle injuries in an effective manner.

"OLIVER is an innovative system that allows me to detect which players are overtrained and which ones need more load" José María Pinilla, physical trainer of Sport Extremadura Femenino


In addition, load monitoring plays a very important role when it comes to injury supervision. The measurement of both external and internal loads (using RPE – rate of perceived exertion) allows for effective control and prevention of athletes' injuries.

womens football injuries
Sport Extremadura was one of the teams that incorporated OLIVER and was able to reduce muscular injuries of its athletes to 0 during the second year of use.

More than 100 teams in 25 countries have already chosen OLIVER to monitor players, enhance their performance, and prevent their injuries. Both Men´s & Women´s football teams, futsal teams, as well as youth football teams have opted for OLIVER's GPS technology to achieve short, medium, and long-term results.

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