HSS Westchester understands that no one wants to get sidelined with an injury this spring season. However, ankle sprains and injuries to the knee, particularly the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), are common in soccer. The team at HSS Westchester wants you to know that there are things you can do to keep your soccer player from missing valuable playing time due to an injury.
Learning how to move with good form and alignment will help protect your player’s knees. Body awareness and balance are key components for players to support their knees and ankles. Encourage your soccer player to run through the following drills on their own or with teammates until the movement patterns become second nature:
- Stand with your feet about hip width apart
- Bend from your hips and knees
- Balance and Hip Strengthening
- Stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent and your hip, knee and foot in a straight line. How long can you stand on each foot?
- Walking Lunges
- Perform walking lunges halfway across the field and then back
- As you step, keep your front knee over your ankle in line with your toes – be sure that your knee stays behind the ankle to prevent injury!
- Changing Direction
- Run to a line or cone and plant your outside foot without letting your knee collapse inward to change direction. Move in patterns that take you front to back, side to side and diagonally. Start out the drill by running slowly so you can concentrate on proper positioning: Hips over knees and over toes. As you get more comfortable, pick up the pace and maintain proper technique.
- Jumping and Landing Drills
- Jump straight upward several times. Spring up, then land with your feet and knees pointing straight ahead. Make sure your knees are straight: no knock knees. Let your knees bend softly each time you land. Practice these jumps facing a teammate and ask her to watch your form. Remember: Knees bent, chest high, butt back, and land soft.
For more in-depth movement pattern exercises for your soccer player, visit http://bit.ly/HSS_soccer_injury_prevention
As hard as we try to prevent injuries, they do happen at games and practice. HSS Westchester is here for Eastchester Youth Soccer athletes and families. To request an appointment with an HSS physician, call 914.821.9100 or visit http://bit.ly/HSS_westchester
See you at the fields!
Eastchester Youth Soccer Exec Board