DeWitt Method

philosophy on player availability and performance

Player Availability and Performance Considerations

Player availability and performance are separate but related concepts. Player availability reflects the decision that a player is capable of participating. Player performance, however, is related to the player’s ability to utilize his capabilities. A player could be available but not at a state where they can optimally perform.

 A holistic philosophy emphasizes elevating and maximizing individual performance with evidence-based approaches. Comprehensive data assessment within the context of the individual player’s role and situation is a must.

Key Elements of The DeWitt Method Philosophy

  • Holistic Assessment
    • Physical, neuromuscular, cognitive, and psychological readiness must be assessed for all players. Metrics include:
      • Biomechanics
      • Functional movement
      • Strength, conditioning, and metabolic fitness levels
      • Reaction/decision timing
      • Image and pattern recognition
      • Visual Acuity
      • Confidence
      • Focus
      • Psychological State
    • Player individual characteristics, such as age, experience, role, and situation-specific, must be considered to make informed decisions.
  • Injury Downtime Considerations
    • Many factors must be considered when creating the plan to approach return to play for an individual. A player might be cleared medically to play, but their performance is compromised because of downtime, leading to increased injury and risk to the team. A slightly compromised player who helps the team win can be more valuable than a fully fit player who cannot return during the season. The return to play process is a situationally dependent multifactorial process.
    • Return-to-play reintegration programming should be gradual, allowing players to do total activity safely and minimizing reinjury risk while maximizing performance.
  • Health Prioritization
    • Player health should never be compromised for short-term gains. Long-term performance and career longevity should be the focus.
    • Collaboration/cooperation of the medical and performance team is critical to creating individualized recovery and maintenance plans for each player.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
    • Comprehensive data is paramount to informing decisions about player availability and performance. Data sources include motion capture systems, accelerometer force plates, wearable/nonwearable sensors, and cognitive and psychological assessments.
    • Data must be regularly acquired and reviewed to make timely and best decisions.
  • Balance Team and Individual Needs
    • There should always be a desire to balance individual and team needs, including short-term and long-term benefits and risks.
  • Communication and Collaboration
    • It is possible to achieve the prior aims with cooperation and collaboration between many groups, including players, coaches, staff, and management. Communication is critical to ensure all groups align with a player’s status and recovery plan.
    • A collaborative environment must be fostered to encourage and allow stakeholders to work together to benefit the team and individual players.

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