This Fun Injury Prevention Warm Up Could Save Your Kid's ACL
Injuries are a part of sports. So it’s only fitting that as you train for soccer, you should also train to avoid injuries. Injury prevention for kids is particularly critical as over 1.5 million kids injure their knees and ankles every year. ACL injuries in kids especially are on the rise, with a 400% increase in the last decade.
That's why we sat down with Leigh Veidman, a former Liverpool Academy and U.S. college soccer player who is now the Director of Athletic Performance at FC Boulder. Leigh took us through a 5-minute obstacle course warm up that is a great for ACL injury prevention for kids – and also happens to be extremely fun for players.
The18: You mentioned a study that you had seen about different injuries, common injuries in players. Could you share some of the statistics?
Leigh Veidman: 42% of injuries are typically lower extremity injuries, and 40 to 45 percent of those injuries are typically knee and ankle injuries.
The18: How many knee injuries happen every year? How often are these injuries actually happening to young players in particular?
LV: I read a study that showed there were roughly 1.5 Million knee and ankle injuries in kids every year which is a lot.
The18: How prevalent in a general sense would you say knee and ankle injuries together are in young players?
LV: Typically ankle injuries are more prevalent than knee injuries. Knee injuries are more related to the female side of the game, with the typical body structure and how that differs. But definitely more prevalent is ankle versus knees.
The18: Tell us a little bit about the obstacle course and why do you use it?
LV: The obstacle course I use is for the younger ages. There are many variations you can use, but the one we’ll see today is focused on a couple of areas in particular for injury prevention for kids: agility, jumping off one leg and landing on one leg, balance and jumping off two legs and landing on two legs with some different planes of movement, backwards and forwards.
The18: How long does it take to set up and run the obstacle course?
LV: To set up the obstacle course typically takes a minute or two. And to complete the obstacle course, it depends on how many variations you do, could be a two minute obstacle course and you can do a couple of rounds of that just to make it a little bit more competitive and fun for the kids.
The18: Equipment wise, what do you need to run the obstacle course?
LV: Equipment for the obstacle course is typically just cones. If you want to add some things like poles or hoops for the kids to jump through, you can do that. But typically you just need cones to do the obstacle course.