The Influence of Player Age on Club Soccer Coaches’ Perceptions of Injury Risk and Lower Extremity Injury Prevention Program Use Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/n870zs90p

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  • Background: The use of a lower extremity injury prevention program (IPP) by female athletes before the completion of puberty may mitigate movement changes that develop during puberty and contribute to greater injury risk. It is unknown whether player age influences coaches’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding IPPs. Methods: Fifty-four female soccer coaches from Oregon and Washington states completed a web-based survey. Associations between team age (U9-U14=57 and U15-U19=19 teams) and coaches’ 1) attitudes and perceptions; and 2) IPP awareness, adoption, and implementation fidelity were assessed. Results: Coaches of older teams perceived injuries to be more of a problem and soccer to present a high risk of injury; and more strongly agreed that preventive exercises should be performed by their players during training. Despite similar levels of IPP awareness, coaches of older teams were more likely to use an IPP though they were not more likely to do so with high fidelity. Conclusion: Player age influenced coaches’ perceptions of injury risk and the rate of IPP adoption. Lesser perceived injury risk by coaches of younger teams likely serves as a barrier to wide-scale implementation of IPPs during a crucial developmental period when high-risk motion patterns begin to emerge in female athletes. Key Words: lower extremity injury, adoption, neuromuscular, implementation, fidelity
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