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  • Jo Clubb

New Publication: Why ‘best practice’ is not always best in sport

I am proud to share news of a new publication with my good friend and former colleague at the Buffalo Bills, Will Greenberg. Our editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine is entitled 'Why 'best practice' is not always best in sport'. It is the culmination of many, many discussions on the complexity of performance and injury.


We illustrate the application of Dave Snowden's Cynefin Framework to try to understand and respond to injury and performance decisions. We contend that the quest for so-called 'best practice' may often be misplaced, given the complexity of the problems we face.

Please find links and an excerpt from the introduction below, as well as a preview of the figure in which we summarise the Cynefin framework domains with applied examples.


Available on BJSM here.

Full text available to request on ResearchGate here.


Greenberg W, Clubb J Why ‘best practice’ is not always best in sport British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 29 June 2021. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-103938


"As sport and exercise medicine clinicians, we are constantly faced with challenging decisions. We contend with a diverse range of physical and psychological ailments, how to optimise rehabilitation, clear players to return to play and even the advancement of training to improve performance. Accordingly, clinicians often seek to provide evidence-based ‘best practice’.1 Monocausal thinking may drive the adoption of so-called ‘best practice’.2 However, while evidence-based solutions can provide a foundation for decision making, the quest for ‘best practice’ may often be misplaced given the complexity of both sports performance and injury manifestations.3 4


Problems arise in different contexts, requiring different responses. We may use the process of sense-making—defined as ‘how we make sense of the world so we can act in it’5—to understand and respond to such injury and performance dilemmas. A decision support framework from this field can benefit clinicians by guiding appropriate styles of thinking and responses to the array of problems faced."