As most of you know, we have incorporated landing drills as part of our practice routine in the girls basketball program for the past three years. I firmly believe they have made a difference for those kids who have focussed on executing the drills with the proper technique.
Last summer, Ashley strained her knee pretty good and it turns out she was a milimeter away from tearing her ACL. Fortunately the muscles around her knee were just strong enough to keep this injury from becoming too serious.
Of course there are no secret formulas to preventing injuries but the research does show what a difference landing and jumping drills can do to help significantly reduce the occurence of ACL tears.
Immediately after seeing Dr. Schutte at Northern Rockies Rehabilitation Center, Ashley was put on a landing program similar to the one we used from both Doug Martin of Hamilton Physical Therapy and Carla Albert of Catalyst Physical Therapy. They have really helped her recovery process. The only thing that I'm concerned about is that our athletes only do these drills during the season or after an injury has already occured.
Dr. Schutte recommends doing just 2 or 3 of these drills daily to strengthen the muscles around the knee and more importantly train these muscles how to "land," because it is in the incorrect landing that causes ligament damage. It's the nueromuscular training that makes all the difference!
Check out the following link for some drills or get a hold of a local physical therapist (I know a cute one:) and get some drills you can work on this summer. In fact, Carla would be happy to give you a specific program and the training to do it properly. (240-3494)
A great research article is found in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 7