With anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries reaching epidemic levels in both youth and professional athletics programs, it’s clear that what we’ve been doing so far isn’t working.

The standard approach to addressing the devastating ACL injuries sustained by volleyball and other athletes has been to put these athletes through a multi-week series of “camps” where players progress through a preventative rehab, or “prehab”, strengthening program in the off-season in the hopes of preventing injuries during the regular season.  The inherent problem with this approach is athlete compliance once the camp is completed.  Unless the athlete continues the prehab program thoughout the season, the preventative benefits they received from the camp diminish quite quickly.

Austin Spine & Sport Research has developed an alternative to this failing prevention model.

How the VIP Program is different

Rather than addressing ACL injury prevention in one lengthy camp, the Volleyball Injury Prevention (VIP) Program provides a very brief, easily administered and comprehensive program designed to be performed immediately before each practice and game, throughout the entire season rather than solely in the off-season.

ACL tears are among the most common volleyball injuries, joining rotator cuff tears, ankle sprains and lower back injuries in the top 4 potential “season ending” injuries in the sport.  80% of ACL tears are “non-contact” injuries, which means that they occur without the contact of another athlete, usually during the course of pivoting, cutting, or landing a jump.  As such, it is important to understand that the only way this knee injury can occur is if the muscles whose job it is to protect the joint fail to do their jobs.  Meaning, the knee support muscles weren’t up to the task they were given, and therefore failed.

The VIP Program addresses this “motor failure” cause of injury by training the muscles to:

  1. Fire in a timely way.  Because if a support muscle engages a split-second too late, the injury may have already happened,
  2. Fire appropriately.  Because if a support muscle “pulls” too much, or too little, the injury may be allowed to occur, and
  3. Work together as a team.  Because having well-coordinated support muscles means that no one muscle group will be asked to do most of the work, and therefore be at risk for failure.

Why it’s so effective

This program accomplishes its simple but all-important goal by providing a structured, progressive “introduction” to play that involves each of the complex and explosive movements required by the athlete in their sport.  And, it “re-familiarizes” the body with these critical movement skills immediately before play throughout the entire season, rather than addressing them only once at the beginning of the season.

It further enables coaches and trainers to add a quality performance warm-up AND a powerful injury prevention tool to their existing program with little to no additional time or monetary expense.  And while this program is targeted primarily at ACL injuries, it is also designed as a preventative intervention for rotator cuff tears, ankle sprains, patellar tendinitis and lower back injuries as well.

To download a PDF copy of the VIP Program, simply click the link below.  Watch the video walk-through below to get a feel for how this program looks in action.

The Volleyball Injury Prevention (VIP) Program

ATTENTION: Coaches/Directors: We’re looking for organized athletics programs to participate in a research study on this protocol. If you’d like to be a part of some groundbreaking research, please contact Dr. Bockmann by phone or through the “Contact Us” page for more details.

(512) 386-1876

 


The University of Texas Men’s Volleyball Team demonstrating the VIP Program

during practice at the UT Rec Sports Center in Austin, TX.