As Spring soccer ramps up, the Missoula Strikers organization welcomes two local physical therapists and former coaches back on the field to teach our young athletes a proper dynamic warm-up and some plyometric drills that have been proven to help decrease the rate of non-contact ACL injury on the field.
Jessica Kehoe and Leah Versteegen from Alpine Physical Therapy were joined by Alpine aide and U18 assistant coach John Prugh last week at the Strikers Academy opening week of practice. They ran a 10 minute dynamic warm up and provided a basic introduction to plyometric form for the 8-12 year olds participating in the Academy.
Over the next several weeks, these three Alpine crew members will be showing up at practices for each of the Strikers teams to educate their players and coaches on the dynamic warm-up and age appropriate plyometrics for injury prevention. The program they will teach has been adapted from the Sportsmetrics Program (out of Cincinnati) and PEP (out of Santa Monica) programs, both of which have been shown in the latest research to reduce non-contact injuries in soccer players.
The long term goal is for all kids participating in the Strikers program, including Academy, to be able to reproduce this warm-up prior to all practices and games. The coaches will provide the most assistance and feedback to the younger players so that by the time they reach the U16 to U18 level, the players will be mostly on their own. The dynamic warm-up will be the same for all age groups, while the plyometrics will increase in difficulty as the players move up in age. Coaches, parents, and players can check out the link on the Strikers page to help remind them how the dynamic warm up is run.
Alpine Physical Therapy will also be offering free player consults for Micro, Academy, and Strikers athletes. Jessica and Leah will be able to see these players day of injury in order to help determine what they need to do to manage their injury, whether the need is for rest and ice, PT treatment, or a visit to the doctor. As former Division I college soccer players, Alpine’s representatives know what it takes to be a competitive soccer player and will help get these young athletes back on the field with better form, strength, and control.
For more information on Alpine’s work with area soccer players, click here.