Integrating a coach-led neuromuscular warm-up prior to practice appeared
to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in female high school soccer and
basketball athletes, according to a study published in Archives of
Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Cynthia R. LaBella, MD, and colleagues performed a cluster randomized
controlled trial on 90 coaches and 1,492 athletes, randomizing schools to
intervention (737 athletes) and control groups (755 athletes). Coaches in the
intervention groups were trained to implement a 20-minute neuromuscular warm-up
in their coaching routine, as well as an abbreviated version of the warm-up
prior to each game. Control coaches were instructed to use their normal
Neuromuscular training included progressive strengthening, balance,
plyometric and agility exercised, as well as an educational component wherein
coaches provided feedback to athletes to promote safe jumping and landing
techniques, according to an American Medical Association news release.
Self-report and direct observation were collected from the coaches, who
reported 96 lower extremity injuries in the control group and 50 lower
extremity injuries in the intervention group. Thirteen of the control athletes
and two of the intervention athletes each sustained multiple lower extremity
injuries, and all of the athletes who had non-contact lower extremity injuries
requiring operative intervention were in the control group, the release noted.
The authors estimated the cost of training for a group of 15 to 20 coaches was
approimately $80 per coach.
“Coach-led neuromuscular warm-up reduces noncontact lower extremity
injuries in female high school soccer and basketball athletes from a
mixed-ethnicity, predominantly low-income, urban population,” the authors
wrote. “These findings suggest that neuromuscular training should be
routine in girls’ high school soccer and basketball.”
- LaBella CR, Huxford MR, Grissom J, et al. Effect of neuromuscular
warm-up on injuries in female soccer and basketball athletes in urban public
high schools: Cluster randomized controlled trial. Arch Pediatr Adolesc
Med. 2011. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.168
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