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BEYOND THE COURT

Armesha Claiborne

Old Dominion University Weekly Blog Post

 

February 27, 2017 - [Continue] Researchers from BMJ Open Sport Exercise Medicine set out to investigate some predicting factors of lower extremity injuries in team sports. This study was conducted on 508 male and females from different 4 sports teams, one including basketball, over the course of four years. The participants in this study initially gave blood samples, performed physical fitness tests, and completed questionnaires to give the researchers a baseline understanding of that particular athlete. The researchers prepared for traumatic non-contact injuries and sports related injuries. An individual’s risk for injuries was based upon their personal anatomy, along with genetic, biomechanical, and neuromuscular factors.  

 

There are several factors that researchers have proposed prior to this study that go into lower extremity injuries. Some proposed factors are lack of proper body control during body maneuvers and landing mechanics after jumps, low muscle strength, poor balance, as well as ligament and joint laxity. The researchers concluded that many of the previous factors can predict future lower extremity injuries. Some other factors were decreased core stability, limb length, a low hamstring to quadriceps ratio, greater strength in the plantar flexors, and a decreased range of motion in the hip. Some predictive measures for ACL injures (which is one of the most popular in basketball) were hyperextension of the knee, differences in anterior and posterior knee laxity, as well as differences in knee abduction.  

 

In order to prevent some of these injuries occurring in young athletes it is important to have a well-rounded exercise program that includes multisegmental exercises and activities. Some specific activities to include in a sports program would be endurance training, core stability training, proprioception, balance, and neuromuscular control exercises. These types of exercises should be incorporated in exercise regimens to decrease the chances of lower extremity injuries. These should also be incorporated in a manner that doesn’t increase the changes of overuse injuries in the athlete.

 

Strength and Conditioning Director

Kevin Boyle MS, CSCS, FMS, PES

 

As the Director for Explosive Performance, Coach Boyle and Thomas Gadson have developed and integrated a Basketball Specific Skills component for the Virginia Elite Player Development program. 

 

Coach Boyle has been affiliated with Virginia Elite Basketball program for 10+ years. Now Coach Boyle is providing strength and conditioning for the high school level players for Virginia Elite. We have fused our player development program with Explosive Performance that specializes in Strength and Conditioning development that will enhance and improve every aspect of our athlete's performance. EP specializes in improving the ability to react quicker with bursts of explosive speed and power, which is an asset for any sport. 

 

Concussion Awareness in Basketball

by: Kevin Boyle               

The devastating affects of this injury combined with a lack of understanding of how to assess, address, and prevent concussions have made it a major source of concern for coaches and parents in all sports. The bottom line is that the negative affects of concussions can take athletes away from the sports they love, and more importantly, impact the quality of our athletes’ lives in the long-term. Concussion prevention is a misnomer because we can’t prevent someone from slamming their head during a car accident, a fall from a skateboard, or a hard tackle in a sport like football. We can empower our athletes, parents, and coaches with the knowledge of how to identify a concussion, what steps to take, and how to decrease the length and severity of the concussion. 

Concussion Research: Generally, we think of impact sports like football, boxing, and hockey when we think of at risk athletes for concussions. The nature of a number of other sports increases their rates of incidence. For instance, soccer players banging their heads on a contested header, throwing sports getting hit by the ball in the head, and basketball where elbows connect with the head during rebounding and legs can be taken out on lay-ups and dunks slamming the athlete’s head into the hard court. A 2012 study (1) of 20 high school sports reported that concussions accounted for 13.2% of all injuries in the sports studied, two thirds (66.6%) of which occurred during competition and one-third (33.4%) during practice. Nearly a third of patients at two leading sports concussion clinics reported having previously suffered a concussion which went undiagnosed (2). The rate of previously undiagnosed concussions was slightly lower than the nearly 50% reported in a 2004 study (3). This study and others indicate that concussion incidence may be much higher, as many go unreported because of lack of education by the coaches and athletes. For children seen in the ER and discharged, the sports most commonly associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Reducing the impact: The most important things we can do to reduce the immediate and long-term effects of concussions is to recognize them when they happen, stop activity (“when in doubt, sit them out”), and get medical professionals involved. Though completely preventing concussions is not possible, research suggests that athletes with stronger neck muscles have decreased incidence of TBI, and that they may have shorter recovery periods as well (4). This tells us that neck stability and strengthening should be part of every athlete’s strength and conditioning program. 

 

Virginia Elite National Grassroots Basketball Program