#315 – Beyond the Field – ACL Prevention in Elite Football

Understanding ACL Injuries in Elite Football

Common Causes of ACL Injuries

Non-contact scenarios often cause ACL injuries in elite football. Situations like side-stepping, decelerating or landing from jumps frequently lead to these injuries. These mechanisms are consistent across various sports, highlighting the need for targeted prevention strategies.

Factors Influencing ACL Injuries

Several innate factors can predispose athletes to ACL injuries. For instance, the morphology of the tibial plateau and a family history of ACL injuries play significant roles. These factors are slow to change and are more responsive during developmental stages such as puberty. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider these aspects when developing prevention programs.

Importance of Fundamental Movement Skills

Emphasizing a broad range of fundamental movement skills, such as running, jumping, and throwing, early on is vital. These skills help athletes adapt to various sports contexts, which can potentially reduce the risk of ACL injuries. Additionally, fostering these skills enhances overall athletic performance.

Training Considerations to Prevent ACL Injuries

High-intensity game-based activities are more likely to strain the ACL than resistance training. To prevent injuries, it is essential to manage the strain on the ACL through careful monitoring of training loads. Avoiding overloading is crucial for maintaining the health and performance of athletes.

Future of ACL Monitoring Technology

Currently, the technology to accurately predict or monitor ACL strain is not advanced enough. However, research is ongoing, with promising developments in MRI techniques for assessing collagen damage. While these advancements are not yet ready for widespread use, they represent a hopeful future for ACL injury prevention.

In this episode of the High-Performance Podcast for AFL staff & athletes, brought to you by Prepare Like a Pro, host Jack McLean welcomes guest Sophia Nimphis to discuss ACL mitigation and prevention in elite football. They explore Sophia’s journey from athlete to strength and conditioning coach, the nuances of ACL injuries, preventive measures, and the significance of long-term athlete development.

Highlights from the episode:

  • Common causes of ACL injuries
  • Factors that put you in high risk of ACL Injuries
  • How to mitigate ACL Injuries for young athletes
  • Where to fit deep knee flexion based work in your training week
  • Monitoring ACL strain

People mentioned:

  • Jeremy Shepherd
  • Rob Newton
  • Travis Triplett
  • Jeffrey McBride
  • Jenifer O’Donoghue
  • Mick Mcguigan
  • Matt Jordan
Listen: iTunes | Spotify

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