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How to protect the body against the common denominators of soccer injuries

Jennifer Schwartz is a Master Level Muscle Activation Techniques™ Specialist and certified Exercise Physiologist. She oversees Alexandria Soccer Association’s Injury Prevention and Fitness program and her exercise and rehab practice in Alexandria.

In the ASA culture we want players to stay healthy and confident about their performance throughout each soccer season and throughout their time as a student-athlete. There are millions of sport injuries that occur every year. In a ten-year period, 3.38 million injuries were estimated to have occurred in American High Schools. If nearly 4 million injuries (with head injuries on the rise) were occurring within a physics curriculum you could bet that there would be a public outcry into changing that curriculum and the culture of education. The ASA Injury Prevention and Fitness curriculum believes that the role of daily habits and muscular strength are underestimated in our youth sports culture.

The likelihood of a season-ending injury occurring quantifies when a player has smaller previous injuries. Sustaining a season-ending injury will not only cause the player and player’s family excessive resources and discomfort, it will cost the team and the player valuable development time. Our program’s cutting-edge resources make it so that your child does not have to learn the hard way when it comes to injury.

The gold standard in preventing injuries

One thing is certain, all injuries have a single common denominator — injuries occur when the athlete cannot absorb forces from contact with the ground, the ball, or another player. Injury will be more likely if the body is not able to manage the stress of their day to day life—physical, mental, and chemical. We attack injury prevention from all of these angles instead of focusing on one particular type of injury.

The gold standard in preventing injury for the long-term is an accumulation of daily habits and a strength training regimen (there are many ways to get stronger: bands, cones, or weights, read more here and here ). Daily performance focused habits are a major component of balancing the equation of stress, learning, and improvement.

  • Spend 10 minutes on Active Stretches and Activation Exercises for every hour of sport played that day.
  • Set daily goals.
  • Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Use a Mental Routine to prepare to perform at your best.


How to prevent injuries if your child or player has not sustained an injury but has areas of soreness, discomfort, pain or tightness

Email Jenn for a consultation. We offer Academy players three private sessions with Coach Jenn for each outdoor season (included in the cost of tuition). In these sessions Jenn will measure and test movements that are absorbing force. Once we determine which areas are not absorbing or producing force well, we will make an exercise plan to strengthen these areas.

Your player may not be ready for one-on-one time with Coach Jenn at this moment. Below are links to a blog and videos about Active Stretches.

It’s important that our players learn the concepts to help prevent injury and improve their physical performance with small daily habits. The ASA Academy Injury Prevention & Fitness program provides self-guided workout programs, Active Stretch routines, and Pre-Session Routines. Ideally our players know these and how to use them.

Make an appointment with Coach Jenn if they do not know where to start.

Resources

Video that demonstrates stretches

Sleep Interventions Designed to Improve Athletic Performance and Recovery

http://www.apta.org/PTinMotion/News/2017/3/22/HSSoccerInjuries/

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