According to this post, basketball players are injured more frequently than athletes inÃ‚Â 12 other sports. There are 21.5 injuries for every 1000 competitors, which is more than football (20.8) and far more than other sports like soccer (12.9), skateboards (9.4) or tennis (2.0).
How many coaches attempt to reduce the number of injuries to their team? It appears that most coaches believe injuries happen and there is little a coach can do.
However, while some injuries are freak injuries or contact injuries (elbow to the nose) which cannot be avoided, players can train to strengthen muscles and ligaments to help prevent injuries, and they can learn better running, jumping and landing mechanics so their bodies are better-positioned to absorb the force.
While training for injury prevention may not contribute immediately to the next win, one secret of the Phoenix Suns’ success is training for injury prevention so their players rarely miss court time (with the exception of Amare Stoudamire’s microfracture surgery).
The injury prevention may not win a game tomorrow, but, over the course of a season, a healthy team, as opposed to one playing with gimpy ankles or missing a player with an ACL tear, probably will win a few more games. As Dilated Peoples say, “We don’t train for sprints, we train for marathons.” It’s a long season.