Written By Scott Toniazzo
I’ve spent a fair bit of time around netball clubs (as a player, club and association sports trainer, club president, vice-president, and Rep Team co-ordinator). I love being involved in local community sporting organisations.
The benefits of physical activity and involvement in team sport are huge. But the negative? INJURIES! In netball, the majority of injuries that I have seen involve the ankle and knee. ACL injury is right up there as one of the most significant injuries you can do playing sport that can really impact your ability to continue to participate.
Netball Australia has established the Knee Program. (Knee Injury Prevention for Netballeres to Enhance Performance and Extend Play). This program aims to educate and train healthcare providers, coaches, parents and players on how to implement a program in their clubs to help prevent ACL injuries.
According to Netball Australia, there are a few significant statistics around this:
- Females are 4 to 6 times more likely to injure than males.
- The highest risk group is females aged 15 to 18 years.
- Return to sport rates post ACL vary. 30% never return.
- 40% return to pre injury level of competition.
- There are long term degenerative effects if cartilage is involved
So what is it about netball that leads to ACL injuries?
Netball Australia has identified 3 keys areas:
- Landing after contesting the ball. Perturbation from opponent immediately before landing, destabilises landing.
- Trunk rotation on landing commenced mid-air (for example, in transition).
- Change of direction – particularly with a wide stance.
How do we make a change?
With the above information, we start to look at what we can do to help lower the rates of injury.
The fundamental aims of the KNEE program are:
- to optimise technique
- to enhance efficiency of movement
Once established, the program takes about 10-12 minutes. Which makes it easy to incorporate the recommended 2-3 times per week into training and match day warm ups.
The information in this blog post is not meant to replace tailored, professional advice. It is always best to speak with your health professional if you have questions or are concerned.
Scott Toniazzo is a nationally endorsed provider of Netball Australia’s KNEE program.
The KNEE Program has been developed by Netball Australia. The above information is a brief summary of the statistics, factors for injury and aims of the program.
Source: Netball Australia KNEE Program: https://knee.netball.com.au
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