I’ve been reading your articles and following you since day one, thanks for all the information you put out there.
I recently accepted a job to coach middle school girls soccer. Up to this point, I have only coached boys. Going into the season, I am worried about the ascending injury rate occurring with young women (specifically acl/mcl). Can you point me in the right directions for any exercises, drills, mobility work that can be done to help prevent these types of injuries? Is it a matter of strengthening these areas or mobility ? Are there specific movement I should have them avoid? Any input you have would be greatly appreciated.
There are definitely multiple contributing factors in regards to ACL injuries. Here are some things to focus on:
- Proper running mechanics
- Foot Strength/Mobility/Flexibility
- Hip Strength/Mobility/Flexibility
What we’ve noticed with some of females that have had non-contact ACL issues is quad dominance. There are a few reasons for this to occur and some are listed above.
Fix running/playing mechanics. Too many athletes are taught to run on their toes. As a result of this, it causes quads/calves to be overworked and tibialis anterior & posterior chain to become underutilized. Having athletes run with a more “whole footed” strike will do a multitude of things:
- Increase surface area – which will have a greater dispersal of force
- Facilitate tib ant & posterior chain recruitment
Foot Exercises – Here is an article I posted with some foot exercises for them to do.
Next, stay on top of hip health. Here’s some exercises to perform that will help guide you: