The importance of injury prevention programmes specific to junior athletes is an area that has been heavily researched in recent years, especially with athletes junior years of training being highlighted and emphasised as being some of their most important training years of their career. The main findings indicate that sport performance injury prevention programmes and exercises can have a significant influence on helping reduce ankle, knee and other lower extremity injuries in sports, initially and later on in an athletes career.
A recent study conducted into the use of these types of programmes by coaches, revealed that from 66 high school head coaches of sports teams, only 21 percent of coaches were using some sort of injury prevention programme. From this 21 percent, who’s to say that these programmes were specific enough for the needs of the individual athletes to be effective.
Now some coaches may argue that these types of programmes are not needed. However, with over 1.7 million students competing in high school soccer and basketball in the United States during 2013-2014. During that period, about 335,000 of the athletes had a lower extremity injury that required medical attention and kept them from participating for at least one day. With this highlighting the prevalence of injury over the course of a year of sport, it surely emphasises the need for programmes to combat the frequency of injury over the course of a year of sport.
In summary the frequency of injuries, regardless of the severity, indicate a demand for specific sports programmes that help the athletes physical competencies to prevent injuries over the course of a sporting year. This could come in many forms, for example; flexibility, safe athletic movement patterns or strengthening of the lower extremities joints and muscles to name a few. Instead we should switch to a mindset of…
PREHAB over REHAB !!!
Marc F. Norcross, Samuel T. Johnson, Viktor E. Bovbjerg, Michael C. Koester, Mark A. Hoffman. Factors influencing high school coaches’ adoption of injury prevention programs. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, (2015).