Everyone is capitalizing off of injury prevention programs. E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E! But, sadly if participation continues, that is a pipe dream. The best we can hope for is to reduce the chance of injury. One Meta-Analysis looked at an ACL injury prevention program for female basketball and soccer players. It concluded that ACL injuries can be decreased – If, IF the 60 athletes spent 15-20 minutes per day 3-5 times per week specifically doing “prevention drills” then 1 ACL tear could be prevented. Effective yes (especially for that 1), but not efficient.
Another study found that to reduce the risk of injury it took two to three 10-15 minute sessions (weekly training volume of 30-60 min) to have the largest preventative effect. Oh, there needs to be 20-60 sessions in a 6 month period for this to work though. But lets look at that range there – If I do 3x per week I’ll hit so training sessions in 7 weeks. That is a lot different then getting 20 sessions in 24 weeks – that’s just over 1 per week, but still in the 20-60 sessions in 6 months recommendation. The BIGGEST PEARL from this it takes at least 7 weeks to see any change.
Another article reported that its recommendation was a 3 month training period getting ready for the sport, which is supported by an article that reported sport specialization/playing a sport year round actually increased the injury RISK.
What can we take away from all of these numbers? The only shot we have at decreasing injury risk is a consistent non-sport related program that is >7 weeks in duration (8-12 weeks seems ideal). That’s not competing. That’s not practicing. That is TRAINING/Preparing for the sport. Sadly, people won’t take that to heart……