I attended Western Michigan University (WMU) for my undergraduate degree. While there, I sustained an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury as a member of the women’s basketball team, which changed my life forever. After my injury, I spent 2 years in the athletic training room trying to make my way back to the basketball court. In hindsight, that injury is the reason I decided to go back to school to become a physical therapist.
Today one of my passions is jump training after seeing firsthand the injuries female athletes sustain to their ACLs. During the 4-year period I attended WMU, there were 6 girls on my team who tore their ACL and 2 who tore it multiple times, which ended their careers. My personal experience is the main reason why I wanted to get SportsMetrics™ certified once I heard there was a program designed to prevent this injury.
Unfortunately, I never heard of any jump training prevention program while in school. This is shocking to me, because the statistics back then indicated that female athletes tear their ACL’s 2-6 times more frequently than their male counter parts for non-contact injuries. This statistic blew my mind back in 2000 when I tore my ACL, and it continues to be true almost 20 years later! What I take away from this statistic is that we, as coaches, parents and health care providers, are not giving the girls who participate in sports today the education or training they need to be successful in their field of play.
You can prevent an injury from possibly occurring in the first place if you train properly in the off season. I feel it is paramount to go through some sort of jump/plyometric program before resuming sport activities once you sustained an injury, as it will help your mental status and provide confidence for you to return to the sport you love. Therefore, I plea to you to please look at these videos so you can learn the proper form for landing from a jump, as well as what to look for if your landing techniques are in need of some specific jump training regimens. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, seek a certified SportsMetrics™ trained professional who can give you guidance to help you live a happier and healthier athletic career. Take it from me, a former female athlete.
Karen is a physical therapist at our Rockford location. To schedule a free 15 minute consultation with her, or any of our physical therapists, call 616-827-3010.