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362 US youth soccer coaches do not possess adequate knowledge of non-contact ACL injuries and injury prevention programs
  1. Shelly Fetchen DiCesaro
  1. California University of Pennsylvania, California, USA


Background Non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (NC-ACL) injuries have been shown to occur more often for female soccer players as opposed to their male counterparts; however, it has been demonstrated that prevention programs may significantly decrease these injuries. US Youth Soccer players are predominately coached by volunteers who may not have an understanding of preventative strategies.

Objective To assess understanding of NC-ACL injuries and the implementation of prevention programs in US Youth Soccer coaches.

Design Cross-sectional descriptive survey.

Setting Blind online survey administered to volunteer US Youth Soccer coaches.

Patients (or Participants) Individuals over 18 years of age who were registered with US Youth Soccer as a volunteer coach received the survey. The exact number of email invitations to participate opened was unattainable.

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) A 51 question survey was used to determine knowledge regarding NCACL injuries. Survey questions were constructed from a literature review and expert experience.

Main Outcome Measurements The main outcome measure is the percentage of correct answers on the survey with a score of 75% deemed knowledgeable.

Results Three hundred and fifty-six (356) surveys were accessed from the email invitation with 330 suitable for data analysis. Participants scored an average of 18 questions incorrect for a total knowledge score of 63.98%, below the required 75%. Additionally, scores for males (n=277, score = 63.83%) and females (n=53, score = 64.70) did not differ significantly as analyzed by t-test with a p=0.47.

Conclusions US Youth Soccer coaches do not possess adequate knowledge of NC-ACL injuries and implementation of prevention strategies. Further analysis may elicit significance between scores specific to experience, length of time coaching and previous injury prevention program education. Coaches and their players would benefit from mandatory standardized education and strategies for implementation into lesson plans and practice.

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