Darren Pawski Outlines Effects of Travel Fatigue on Rugby Players and Other Elite Athletes
Elite-level athletic competition requires the kind of training preparation that ensures the athlete is in peak performance condition, ultimately leading athletes and coaches to go to great lengths to avoid the adverse effects of fatigue or poor nutrition. Despite the knowledge that fatigue has an adverse impact on athletic performance, some circumstances are simply unavoidable and must be managed as best as possible.
According to Darren Pawski, rugby players and other elite-level athletes often face demanding travel schedules that can cause the accumulation of fatigue over time. This is part of the reason why many of the major North American sports are currently evaluating the possibility of reducing the number of games played in each season, and Major League Baseball is currently considering moving from 162 games per season to 154 games per season.
As a financial services expert, Pawski noted that such a reduction in games would result in a great deal of lost revenue for MLB and its partners. It must be the case that the health of the players and the quality of the product on the field is more valuable than the revenue that would be lost by reducing the travel demands placed on players. After all, many coaches have taken to resting their players during regular-season games to ensure they remain fresh and well rested for the playoffs.
Rugby athletes face different circumstances, however. At the elite levels of competition, rugby teams often endure long flights due to the relative frequency of international rugby events. Numerous studies have shown that air travel has a significant impact on the body, resulting in inflammation and general fatigue. While there may not be any way to avoid air travel altogether, those in charge of these teams should take into account the concept of accumulated fatigue when making travel plans.