Women's Sport: Lionesses are following in Chelsea's footsteps by monitoring menstrual cycles to improve performance

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Phil Neville has announced that the Lionesses' new physical performance manager, Dawn Scott, is monitoring the England player's menstrual cycle's ahead of their SheBelieves Cup campaign to help improve their physical performance.

Last October, Give Me Sport Women reported that Fran Kirby, alongside the rest of her teammates, is encouraged by the Chelsea Women backroom staff to train depending on their menstrual cycle. For the past six months, Chelsea has been using an app to monitor the players' cycles and adapt training according to each player's menstrual health. 

Earlier this month, The Telegraph then spoke with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes about the team's decision to prioritise menstrual health and now, Phil Neville is following suit.

Dawn Scott implemented training dependent on the menstrual cycle when she was part of the backroom staff that helped the USWNT win the World Cup in 2015 and 2019 and following her move to the Lionesses, Phil Neville envisages a similar training process.

"Dawn has a big thing on: 'Men aren't women and women aren't men.' We have to tailor our philosophies, profiles; the way we test, strength and condition. She is making things really bespoke," the Lionesses manager explained earlier this week at his press conference.

"This week, there has been a massive thing about the menstrual cycle, which Dawn implemented with the US national team. The same people are working with Chelsea now, and we are implementing it now with our girls. Dawn has already spoken to a lot of the players about it and made a big impact already," he added.

Research has already shown that has found that women can perform differently depending on where they are in their cycle and whilst in America, Scott worked with a specialist sports consultant to try and minimise injury risk in her players, as well as any side effects of their menstrual cycle. 

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We have already seen a large number of ACL injuries in the English Women's football league this year, with two even occurring in one game. The oestrogen hormone can increase joint flexibility, and with more oestrogen being released during certain phases of the menstrual cycle you're presented with a higher chance of musculoskeletal injuries.

With Chelsea and now our national team adopting new initiatives to help, not only maximise performance, but support our players, it can't be long until the rest of England's top-flight women's teams cotton on to new training method, and with Dawn Scott at the forefront of women's footballing performance in England, the future must be bright.

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