Sport Innovation/Recovery Techniques in Team Sports/Outcomes
Firstly, the authors successfully induced a muscle damage following exhaustive simulated team sport exercise as indicated by the Likert scale and plasma CK levels (131% increase) 24 hours post exercise. Therefore a recovery process is necessary to regain performance standard, and the project has been validated. The aim of the project was to assess the efficacy of a certain type of recovery method, and given that there was team sport exercise induced muscle damage, recovery method could be associated with regaining optimal performance capabilities.
There were only 11 athletes in the study. This small sample size could limit the credibility of the scientific findings. A project involving a larger sample size and varied athletes within the sample would increase the support for the findings of this project. The sample of athletes was also undefined as to their level of sporting performance. The athletes were volunteers with team sport experience. This does not indicate that they are elite team sport players. Therefore it is difficult to assume that what has worked for these athletes, will work for elite players. They also do not acknowledge the effect of factors effecting recovery such as nutrition, compression garments or sleep. While these are factors that are very hard to control, if the athletes within a certain group varied on these factors then the regaining of performance capabilities can not be necessarily be attributed to the recovery modalities.
However, following the COLD recovery modality, 24 hours post, there were significant improvements in level of muscle soreness when compared to both the control and CWI recovery modalities. 48 hours post-exercise, the COLD group of athletes was the closest to their pre-exercise test scores, whereas the control group and the CWI groups had significantly lower test scores. Therefore, the authors succeeded in the aim of the project to determine the efficacy of cold-water immersion and contrast water immersion as a team sport exercise recovery modality. They also proved their hypothesis wrong, as they had suggested that the COLD and CWI would not be any different from each other in terms of their effect on regaining optimal performance capabilities and decreasing muscle soreness, when in fact the COLD modality had the greatest success in gaining both. This has allowed them to make more precise recommendations to the stakeholders in the project. Given that the main reason for research projects in the field of exercise and sport science is to improve the performance of athletes and allow them to gain the competitive edge for ultimate sporting success, despite a few limitations to the study, this project has assisted in determining a recovery modality that will improve performance in team sports. Therefore it could be said that the project was successful.