ACL Injury Prevention in Young Athletes

by Brian Schiff |   Date Released : 04 Nov 2009
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Brian Schiff

About the author: Brian Schiff

Brian Schiff graduated from The Ohio State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree of Physical Therapy in Allied Health Professions. Since then, he has practiced as a licensed physical therapist specializing in sports medicine. Through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Brian became a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) in 1998.

He is a founding member of The American Association of Personal Trainers and recently contributed a chapter on periodization to a fitness book entitled The Power of Champions. Schiff also co-authored a manual on ACL injury prevention entitled Protecting the Athlete’s Knee and contributed three chapters in a golf conditioning e-book entitled Fitness Secrets of Championship Golfers. His most recent publication is an e-book entitled The Ultimate Rotator Cuff Training Guide.

Currently, he owns Fitness Edge, a private fitness studio and co-owns a performance enhancement company, Fitness Edge Performance, specializing in sport specific training programs for athletes of all sports and ages. Brian is also a strength and conditioning coach for The Columbus Crew Major League Soccer Team. He has presented at professional conferences and coaches’ clinics on topics including training for shoulder stability, baseball specific training and soccer specific conditioning.

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Comments (5)

Woosley, Mike | 02 Nov 2018, 14:01 PM

I believe the entire sequence of this training - on injury prevention - there are six articles - and there needs to be a basic refresher of all the terminology used in all six articles - some of this stuff is very difficult to visualize, the articles jump right in - from pronation to vagus to adduction and more lightly trafficked muscles like gastrocnemius to the fact that the concepts of eccentric and concentric can be very non-intuitive when you are dealing with muscles in the hip and around the pelvic girdle - the student needs more of a ready reference of all this terminology to be able to better follow and absorb the training.

Godwin, Tom | 14 Jun 2011, 11:55 AM

Great article, really gives an all round approach to injury prevention for the ACL.


daeisadeghi, mohammadreza | 19 Apr 2011, 20:10 PM


Jensen, Leeane | 19 Apr 2010, 21:47 PM

As a past female college basketball player, I can say this stuff really does work. Our team used to tear ACL left and right, until we got a kick butt trainer who implemented all the above and sure enough the proof was in the pudding....never again (while she was there) did our team tear and ACL and it seemed overall injuries were decreased as well.

Floyd, Adam | 10 Nov 2009, 05:04 AM

Great article Brian. Other food for thought - some research at UWA in Perth Australia on AFL footballers has identified 2 of the big contributers to ACL ruptures are both technique based. Firstly wide foot plant on direction change and also trunk lean away on direction change to trick the tackler. They are doing more and more training now on teaching correct change in direction technique. Another factor is that more ACL's are ruptured with unanticipated movements, such as going to kick the ball, seeing a tackler out of the corner of your eye and having to cut at the last minute, exerting a valgus/internal rotation strain on the knee. To train this, they set up a runway with a light on the right and the left and a random light turns on as you are running and you have to cut towards it. Lastly, an interesting study looked at Strength vs strength/proprio combined vs proprioceptive/balance training only at ACL prevention in AFL footballers. The proprioceptive/balance group was statistically significantly the best. Do we need to do any strength training with athletes, other than specific corrective exercises such as glut med? Should we just be doing technique based training and balance work? regards, Adam Floyd Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist

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