Each year in the United States, one in 100 female high school athletes will suffer a serious knee injury. Incidents of knee ligament injuries are approximately five times higher in female athletes than male athletes. The majority of these injuries are non-contact injuries occurring in sports such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball that involve pivoting, cutting or jumping. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) controls the pivoting and forward motion of the knee joint with the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles. If the muscles are not adequately prepared, jumping and twisting motions may create shear forces, which can tear the ACL. An ACL injury may sideline an athlete for 6-12 months.
Sportsmetrics™ certified specialists from Alegent Health Sports Medicine have worked with over 300 athletes in the metro-Omaha area and results have been very positive. Participants meet for 1 to 1.5 hours, three times a week for six weeks. Prior to training, pre-testing is conducted to assess landing and jumping mechanics, hamstring flexibility, vertical jump and speed and agility. Post-testing is performed upon completion of the program to determine the effect of Sportsmetrics™ training.
Video analyses performed after Sportsmetrics™ training showed 95% of participants were able to jump and land with proper technique, compared to only 0.05% prior to training. These improvements greatly reduce the athletes’ risk for sustaining a serious knee injury. Hamstring flexibility and vertical jump improved for the majority of participants and speed and agility improved for all, with better times in both the 40 yard dash and the T-test.
Sportsmetrics™ Training Consists of Four Components
- Dynamic Warm-up: The dynamic warm-up prepares the body for activity with functional based activities that use sport specific motions. It raises core body temperature, increases blood flow to the muscles and improves flexibility, balance and coordination. After completing this warm-up, the athlete will be physically prepared for training
- Plyometrics/Jump Training: The core of the Sportsmetrics™ program, plyometrics are used with focus on correct jumping technique and are divided into three two-week phases. Each two-week phase has a different training focus and the exercises change correspondingly. Plyometrics develop muscle control and strength critical for reducing the risk of knee injury and also for increasing jump height.
- Speed and Agility: Sportsmetrics™ includes specialized training to increase an athlete’s speed, agility and endurance prior to the start of their sport season. Vigorous speed and agility drills include quick feet, sharp cuts, straight sprints, backpedaling and unpredicted agility. With each drill, athletes concentrate on correct running form, body posture and proper technique associated with cutting, pivoting, and decelerating, all activities highly associated with ACL injuries. After six weeks of training, athletes should be physically ready to begin their season with a solid foundation of speed, agility, endurance and strength.
- Flexibility: Stretching is essential to achieve maximum muscle length to allow muscles to work with power through complete range of motion. This is important for decreasing injury and post-training muscle soreness. Like the rest of the training components in Sportsmetrics™, stretches are performed as part of the training session.
Sportsmetrics™ training is available in the metro-Omaha area through Alegent Health Sports Medicine. This program can improve performance, increase jumping height and reduce your risk for serious knee injuries.
Don’t be left on the sidelines! For more information about Alegent Health Sports Medicine and the Sportsmetrics™ program, please call Ashley Hinze at 402-690-4434 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.