EAST LANSING, Mich. — With the excitement of the World Cup, people across mid-Michigan are getting inspired by the game and may even want to pick it up themselves. With that fun, comes caution, which is why I talked to the Michigan Jaguars about some injury prevention tips.
Coaches like Kyle Holsinger-Johnson are training what could be the future stars of the Women's World Cup.
“Michigan Jaguars is considered the best soccer club in Michigan," Holsinger-Johnson said. "They pride themselves on a very strong player development program and helping athletes get into college and continue their careers.”
But to get them there, they first have to learn how to properly train their bodies to avoid injuries.
“Really, starting kind of 12 year old, 13 year old up through 18 year olds," Holsinger-Johnson said. "It's really great to have a regiment that you do in your training through preseason and continuing on, not just in preseason.”
We talked to Dr. Michael Shingles with Sparrow Sports Medicine who said many studies have shown an increase in ACL injuries among female athletes like soccer players.
Which is why Holsinger-Johnson said it's important to teach girls how to train their bodies while they're young.
“We're creating these habits of learning these activities, how they do them, and then, helping them do it right so that they create those neural pathways in a good way," Holsinger-Johnson said. "Because if they learn them the wrong way, then that's what they're going to do on the field when they get older.”
She said it's important to teach kids proper mechanics.
“There's a lot about cutting and landing and jumping and how you land ," Holsinger-Johnson said. "So to make sure athletes can work on and develop the proper techniques to do that is super helpful because it develops those neural pathways to help the athlete not have their knee go in."
Holsinger-Johnson said some exercises she has her players do include lunges, calf raises, Nordic hamstring crawls and jump squats, all of which can also be done at home.
While training an athletes body to have proper mechanics is important, Holsinger-Johnson said it's possible to over do it.
“If someone does it 10 to 15 minutes a day, that'd be great," she said. "If someone's doing it an hour to three hours a day, that's going to lead to over training.”
While the game of soccer is fun, competitive and good exercise, Holsinger-Johnson said it's also so much more.
“Learning how to work together supporting each other, you know, some of those lifelong things almost kind of outshine the soccer part for me," she said. "The soccer part is is incredible, but these girls are learning so much and they're learning to be empowered and strong and confident in themselves and trust themselves.”
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