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ACL Injury Prevention-Soccer Players, Coaches and Parents Please Read and Follow the Program

by Taylor Tollison

The goal of soccer training is improved performance, injury prevention, soccer skills and tactics. Improved performance should never come at the cost of an injured player. Goal #1 is injury prevention in a soccer conditioning program. Goal #2 is to improve performance.

Part one in this series talked about the incidence of injuries.  Part two talked about injury prevention.  In this article I will focus on ACL injuries.  Prevention of ACL Injuries should be a concern for every athlete. One pop can sideline a player for months. Luckily modern training philosophies can drastically reduce the incidence of ACL injuries. Injury prevention is not a glamorous topic like speed and agility training, but it is necessary. First of all, the FIFA 11+ program was shown to significantly reduce injuries. But, the FIFA program is not the focus on this article. I will instead discuss the PEP program for ACL prevention which has scientifically be shown to reduce the ACL injury rate in athletes.


Most people are probably familiar with the ACL.  But if you are not it is a ligament in the knee region.  See the picture below provided by  The Anterior Cruciate Ligament "lies in the middle of the knee.  It prevents the tibia from sliding out in front of the femur, and provides rotational stability to the knee.  2


ACL Fast Facts


  1. Women are more likely to have an ACL tear than men.  The cause is not completely understood but may be because of differences in anatomy and muscle function. 2

  2. Young women are two to eight times more likely than their male counter parts to injure that ligament. 3

  3. 70% of ACL injuries are incurred with little or no contact with another athletes. 3

  4. Dr. Boden says a primary reason for ACL damage is when an athlete lands flat footed, as opposed to landing on the balls of their feet.  3

  5. An ACL injury is usually caused by a sudden twisting motion in the knee when an athlete lands or steps. 3

  6. The occurence of ACL tears may be less likely by thoroughly warming up before sports, learning to land on the balls of the feet,  and using strength training to make muscles firmer.  3

    lateral kneeA study of 1435 college soccer athletes showed a 1.7 time reduction in the intervention group compared to the control group. Non contact ACL ligament rate among intervention athletes was 3.3 times less than in control athletes. No ACL injuries occurred among the intervention group during practice versus 6 among control athletes. Intervention athletes with a history of ACL injury were significantly less likely to suffer another ACL injury compared with control athletes with a similar history. 1

    With that information as a background lets get to the program. To keep it simple click on the link below for PEP program. Your job is to follow the program with your athletes, if you are a coach. If you are a parent, start your kids on the program.  As a coach or parent you should take responsibility to reduce the injury rate in your athletes. 


This website has videos about the exercises and explanations about the website. Please proceed there now to reduce your injuries.


Click here for the PEP Program





Other injury prevention Links

Knee Pain-Is it the knee

Injury prevention article Part one