Monthly Archives: July 2009
Lacrosse Injuries: New Research Shows That “Mental Fatigue” Increases Risk Of ACL Tears And Suggests That “Virtual Reality Technology” That Immerses Athletes In “Complex Athletic Scenarios” May Help With Prevention
New research shows that training your brain may be just as effective as training your muscles in preventing ACL knee injuries, and suggests a shift from performance-based to prevention-based athletic training programs.
The ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the four major ligaments of the knee, and ACL injuries pose a rising public health problem as well as an economic strain on the medical system.
University of Michigan researchers studying ACL injuries had subjects perform one-legged squats to fatigue, then tested the reactions to various jumping and movement commands. Researchers found that both legs—not just the fatigued leg—showed equally dangerous and potentially injurious responses, said Scott McLean, assistant professor with the U-M School of Kinesiology. The fatigued subjects showed significant potentially harmful changes in lower body movements that, when preformed improperly, can cause ACL tears.
“These findings suggest that training the central control process—the brain and reflexive responses—may be necessary to counter the fatigue induced ACL injury risk,” said McLean, who also has an appointment with the U-M Bone & Joint Injury Prevention Center.
McLean says that most research and prevention of ACL injuries focuses below the waist in a controlled lab setting, but the U-M approach looks a bit north and attempts to untangle the brain’s role in movements in a random, realistic and complex sports environments.
The findings could have big implications for training programs, McLean said. Mental imagery or virtual reality technology can immerse athletes to very complex athletic scenarios, thus teaching rapid decision making. It might also be possible to train “hard wired” spinal control mechanisms to combat fatigue fallout.
In a related paper, McLean’s group again tested the single leg landings of 13 men and 13 women after working the legs to fatigue. While both men and women suffer an epidemic of ACL injuries, women are two to eight times likelier to tear this ligament than men while playing the same sport. However, the study showed that men and women showed significant changes in lower limb mechanics during unanticipated single leg landings. Again, the findings point to the brain, McLean says.
During testing, a flashing light cued the subjects to jump in a certain direction, and the more fatigued the subjects became, the less likely they were able to react quickly and safely to the unexpected command.
The research suggests that training the brain to respond to unexpected stimuli, thus sharpening their anticipatory skills when faced with unexpected scenarios, may be more beneficial than performing rote training exercises in a controlled lab setting, which is much less random than a true competitive scenario. In this case, expanding the anticipated training to include shorter stimulus-response times could improve reaction time in random sports settings.
“If you expose them to more scenarios, and train the brain to respond more rapidly, you can decrease the likelihood of a dangerous response,” he said. It’s analogous to how a seasoned stick shift driver versus a novice learner might both respond to a sudden stall. The inexperienced driver might make a slow or even incorrect decision.
- Mclean et al. Fatigue-Induced ACL Injury Risk Stems from a Degradation in Central Control. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2009; 41 (8): 1662 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31819ca07b
- Brown et al. Differences between Sexes and Limbs in Hip and Knee Kinematics and Kinetics during Anticipated and Unanticipated Jump Landings: Implications for ACL injury. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009; DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.055954
Arizona Club Lacrosse: Winslow Warriors Boys Lacrosse Club Was Formed In 2005 And Now Competes With Teams In Arizona, New Mexico And Utah
(From Lacrosse Magazine Article) Almost 40 years after the Eagles put Winslow, Ariz., on the map, Gordon Beyer is working on putting his town on the lacrosse landscape.
Before Beyer put his stamp on Winslow, the town of slightly less than 10,000 hardly knew the difference between a lacrosse stick and a popsicle stick. Since 2005, the fast-talking native Long Islander has been working hard to change that.
Beyer played the game growing up in the 1980s at Smithtown (N.Y.) High School, Fishburne Military School in Virginia and on the club squad at The Citadel. He moved his family to Winslow in 1996 to become a state highway patrolman.
In 2005, his 8-year-old son Kurt became curious of his STX X2 wooden sticks that were hanging on the wall. Gordon took him into the backyard, and he immediately knew that he had a monster on his hands.
That fall, Beyer decided it was time to bring the sport he loves to Winslow. He created the Winslow Warriors Lacrosse Club, which has been made up primarily of boys ranging from eighth to 12th grade.
He started with 10 boys practicing two or three times a week wherever they could. Although the other parents were novices of the game, they were more than willing to help out in any way they could.
The community spirit of Winslow has helped the club survive and grow over the years, reaching as many as 23 players on the team. In the spring of 2008, the schedule grew to 17 games, mostly in tournaments. The Warriors took on local teams from Flagstaff and Scottsdale, as well as out-of-state clubs from New Mexico and Utah.
With the urging of his wife, Catherine, Beyer entered his club in a contest, sponsored by Great Atlantic and Warrior, to win a free “makeover.” They took pictures in his backyard in which players put paint buckets on their heads and substituted lacrosse heads for fishnets and catcher’s masks.
Beyer then took a Sharpie and wrote a100-word essay on a McDonald’s cheeseburger wrapper as to why they deserved the makeover.
Sure enough, Winslow won the grand prize consisting of 30 jerseys, 30 pairs of shorts, two cases of game balls, 30 helmets, 30 bags and 30 performance t-shirts.
Beyer dreams that the sport he loves will one day turn become a sanctioned high school sport in Winslow with local recreational leagues to boot, but knows that there is a ways to go. With continued persistence, he knows it can happen.
Zip Code: 86407
Destination: Winslow, Ariz.
Location: Northeast Arizona on I-40, just 53 miles east of Flagstaff
Elevation: 4,850 feet
US Lacrosse Members: 23
Lacrosse Contact: Gordon Beyer
Record High Temperature: 109
Record Low Temperature: -18
Claim to Fame: If you’ve turned on a radio, chances are you’ve heard the song. If not, turn your car radio on the local classic rock station and soon enough, you’ll hear the Eagles’ 1972 hit that propelled them into rock and roll immortality.
“Take it Easy” brought Winslow to the consciousness of the nation almost 40 years ago and is still what the town is best known for today. The song was written by Jackson Browne and the Eagles’ Glenn Frey, who is the main vocalist.
The first four lines of the second verse may be the song’s most recognizable. They’re certainly the most important lines for Winslow.
Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
I’m such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me.
The town has since erected a bronze statue at the corner of North Kinsley Avenue and West 2nd Street in downtown Winslow. It depicts a man leaning against a lamp post with an electric guitar. Behind him is a mural painted on a large wall. A storefront is depicted in the mural, featuring a window that shows a flatbed Ford, driven by a blonde-haired woman in its reflection. An actual red flatbed Ford stays parked on the side of the street, sans the girl taking a look. It’s all part of “Standin’ on the Corner Park.”
Every fall, the town hosts a “Standin’ on the Corner Festival” at the end of September. It features Eagles tribute bands among other musical acts.
Winslow was once a major stop on Route 66, before the construction of Interstate 40.
College Lacrosse Recruiting: NCAA Division I Rules Prohibit Lacrosse Coaches From Returning Phone Calls Until After July 1 Following Junior Year
When is it permissible for coaches to return phone communication with prospects and family members?
Coaches cannot return phone communication to prospects until after July 1 following the junior year (Division 1) or after June 15 following the junior year in Division 2. Division 3 rules are very flexible and coaches are permitted to return phone communication at any time.
College Men’s Lacrosse: Syracuse Men’s Lacrosse Kenny Nims’ Game Tying Goal Was Not A Crease Violation As He Was Forced From Behind (Video)
Game tying goal by Kenny Nims of Syracuse in NCAA Men’s Championship Game was reviewed by US Lacrosse officials and the call was correct as he was forced into the crease….
College Lacrosse Recruiting: Team Approach For Lacrosse Student-Athletes Creates A Stable And Efficient Recruiting Process
Beyond having everything in order, how does the team approach help?
More than anything, the team approach accomplishes two very important tasks. Firstly, it creates stability and confidence in the prospect, who knows he has a group of people who not only share his vision, but are willing to work tirelessly on his behalf to assist him in finding the right college match. Secondly, the team approach encourages distribution of duties relative to college recruiting that can become potentially overwhelming and frustrating. The team approach encourages a collaborative system that draws strength from individual participants in a specific area of college recruiting. Think of it like this: It’s very difficult for a baseball pitcher to catch his own fastball!