Basic training elements can reduce the chances of joining the 100,000 Americans facing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery each year. Basketball, soccer and football players are at higher risk of ACL injury. Female athletes are at an extremely increased risk and are five to seven times more likely to suffer ACL injury than their male counterparts.
A proper warm-up prepares the body for the more intense training to come. Dynamic warm-up improves biomechanics, mobility and stability, while improving overall body awareness. The development of single-leg strength is especially important to injury prevention. Almost all sports are played one leg at a time and this training also improves hip and core stability. Many knee injuries occur on landing, so landing skills are also essential. Whether landing from a two-legged jump or single-leg hop, a good landing involves shock absorption and proper hip stability.
Education about how to properly slow down and change direction is important as maintaining knee stability during these movements lessens the chance of injury.
Handling the stop-and-go nature of most team sports, which require bursts of frequent accelerations and decelerations, requires conditioning. These habits are not built through straight-line running at less-than-maximum speeds. A more effective form of conditioning involves stop-start linear and lateral drills.