TitleAssociations between player age and club soccer coaches’ perceptions of injury risk and lower extremity injury prevention program use
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMorgan, EA, Johnson, S, Bovbjerg, VE, Norcross, MF
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching
Date PublishedFeb-05-2017

The use of a lower extremity injury prevention program by female soccer players before the completion of puberty may mitigate movement changes that develop during puberty and contribute to post-pubescent females’ greater anterior cruciate ligament-injury risk. It is unknown whether club soccer coaches are using injury prevention programs with younger athletes and if player age is associated with soccer coaches’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding injury prevention programs. Fifty-four coaches of female soccer teams from Oregon and Washington states (USA) completed a web-based survey. Associations between team age (U9–U14 teams = 57 and U15–U19 teams = 19 teams) and coaches’ (a) attitudes and perceptions; and (b) injury prevention program awareness, adoption, and implementation fidelity were assessed. Coaches of U15–U19 teams perceived injuries to be more of a problem and soccer to present a high risk of injury. Coaches of older teams more strongly agreed that preventive exercises should be performed by their players during training. Injury prevention program awareness among coaches of U15–U19 and U9–U14 age groups was 79% and 60%, respectively. Injury prevention program-aware coaches of U15–U19 teams were more likely to use an injury prevention program than injury prevention program-aware coaches of U9–U14 teams (67% vs. 38%), but they were not more likely to do so with high fidelity (60% vs. 54%). Team age is associated with coaches’ short-term perceptions of injury risk, but not perceptions about the long-term ramifications of injury. Educating coaches about the potential benefits of injury prevention programs for mitigating injury-related maturational changes and the long-term ramifications of lower extremity injuries may facilitate greater use of injury prevention programs by coaches of younger female soccer players.

Short TitleInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching