As a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), I have been noticing a huge increase in non-contact injuries among high school volleyball players. My daughter has been on a club team for 3 years & played 2 years of high school ball, and during each season there has been numerous injuries to ankles, knees & shoulders, which are common in the sport. The injuries that are alarming are related more to chronic hip, back and knee injuries that have sidelined athletes for entire seasons, or in two instances, ended their competitve careers. Since volleyball is a NON-CONTACT sport, one begins to realize that these injuries are most often attributed to either A) Incorrect biomechanical skills, & B) Lack of proper conditioning &/or fatigue from overtraining.
Tips to Prevent Youth Sports Injuries
These injuries are effecting girls as young as 12 & persisting somtimes till they are 17 or 18 & thusly compromising their chances of recieving a college scholarship. The purpose of this article is to inform parents, club & high school coaches, as well as players, that we can prevent these injuries by incorporating of few things:
- Proper preseason evaluation by a athletic trainer, strength coach or personal trainer with a background in biomechanics.
- Integration of a proper warm-up & strength & conditioning, flexibility & agility programs that identify these weaknesses & address them.(Developed by orthropeadic doctors & trainers, ie:PEP program).
- Instruction, practice & execution of proper fundamental skills, so that athletes are clear on how to jump, land, hit, dive & block.
- Improper & ill-advised use of plyometric program. These should ALWAYS start in the preseason.
All this takes is a little bit of planning & communication within the athlete’s network(ie;coaches, trainers, club directors & doctors when needed), some good transfer of information, so that athletes know what is expected of them in the off season & care.
These girls are ALL vulnerable to overtraining, lack of rest & poor diet, so these issues need to be addressed also but this is ALL preventable if we work together to give our girls the best suppport they can have during their careers.
Preseason Youth Volleyball Conditioning
I have developed my own program using the framework of the PEP Program and also the concepts of neuromuscular feedback training, to create a complete preseason program that will enhance performance, & decrease the amount of stress to key joints, while allowing the athlete to move more functionally. Specific core exercises are also used to better “connect” the extremities with the torso & strengthen the athletes “weaker links.”
Feel free to contact me about my program & how all volleyball teams can benefit from
careful, integrated training programs.