The Big Debate on Female Athletes and ACL Injuries
How was your weekend?
I just spent the last 3 days at the Perform Better Training Summit in Providence
It is 3 days of lectures and hand on’s presentations with some of the top health, sports and fitness experts in the game!
On Saturday, there was a Q and A with all of the speakers and one of the questions was, their thoughts on female athletes and the ACL
This was the biggest debate of all the questions asked and while I did not agree with everything said on the panel, I wanted to share my takeaway from what I heard and my experience.
Keep in mind, in the last 2 years, I spoken/interviewed 60+ coaches and trained, coached and spoken to over 100 female athletes
My 3 Biggest Takeaways on the ACL and Female Athletes:
1. The lack of play, free movement with our female athletes.
Yes, I played basketball a lot, but after school growing up I would be outside playing with my brother and our friends. We played football, baseball and my favorite tether ball
Can you (or your athlete) throw a baseball, softball?
Can you (or your athlete) throw a football
Can you (or your athlete) kick a soccer ball?
Can you (or your athlete) skip, crawl, squat, jump around and just act like a kid? 🙂
I would argue that most young female athletes can’t, because we don’t go outside and “play” anymore
2. The lack of movement and strength training
As a society, we have our training backwards with our female athletes.
We have a shooting coach, a dribbling coach, a throwing coach, etc
But do you have a sports performance coach?
The Performance Pyramid:
The first layer is foundational movement: can you squat, lunge, crawl, skip, hinge, etc
The second layer is performance: once you have baseline movements, let’s add in agility, speed, etc
The top of the pyramid is skill
We have it backwards, we want to work on skill training but we never add in sports performance and movement training
3. Stress Levels
When I played in college (1999-2003), I didn’t have a cell phone until my junior or senior year and I believe Facebook, social media wasn’t really I think until after I graduated
If I had an awful game, my teammates, coaches knew. Now if an athlete has a bad game, it is all over social media and shared
I am not 100% sure what to do about the increased demand on our athletes, but I do believe we need to talk to them about stress, how they are feeling, anxiety, depression, etc
We need to start the conversation 🙂
I could go on and on about female athletes and the ACL but starting to think about these 3 things will help start to eliminate the non-contact ACL injuries we are seeing
Do you agree? Disagree?
Shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts
Your friend and coach,
PS: If you are local to the Boston area, I am running 4 sports performance camps, where I will touch on all 3 of these things. We will assess and look at movement, start to build the foundational and talk about performance and conditioning.
As for skill training, everything we do in these camps, we help improve your game
I am limiting the numbers so I can give personal attention to each athlete, if you or your athlete is interested, hit reply and let’s get your signed up and registered