Samford University Case Study

Measurable results for D1 soccer

Samford University’s women’s soccer team was able to measurably reduce injury rates with ViPerform analytics. Samford also has 17 other Division 1 teams that compete in the  Southern Conference, and many are planning on implementing similar injury prevention strategies.

Background

Women’s soccer is considered a high-risk sport for lower extremity, non-contact musculoskeletal injuries. Research shows that athletes at the highest risk of injury are those with the highest number of athletic exposures. Yet, athletes with the highest athletic exposure―those who participate in practice and games more frequently―tend to be the better athletes. Therefore, if we can reduce injury rates and days on the injured reserve, we should be able to ensure that better players can play more, adding to the team’s overall seasonal performance.

In the three years leading up to the study, the Samford women’s soccer program suffered eight ACL injuries. Many were occurring in non-contact situations, and they were looking to take a more proactive approach to injury prevention for the 2017-18 season.

Research Goal

The purpose of this study was to determine if assessing athletes using the ViPerform AMI™ and assigning them to a level of the ACL Play It Safe based on their results would have an impact on injury rates by the end of the season.

Execution

All women’s soccer players were assessed using the ViPerform AMI™ to provide physical therapists, athletic trainers, and physicians with objective data in real-time to evaluate deficiencies in functional movements that place athletes at an increased risk of injury. Based on the results of the test, each player was assigned to Level I, II or III of the ACL Play It Safe Program. The athletes performed the mandated exercises three days a week during the season. During the fall season, injury rates, time-loss from participation, and medical costs were recorded. Injury data and claim submission data for the season were then compared to the previous five years.

A 100% reduction in non-contact ACL injuries

Having been plagued by ACL injuries in the past, Samford’s women’s soccer team experienced no non-contact ACL injuries the season after implementing ViPerform AMI™.

Results

The Samford soccer team experienced the following benefits:

  1. Non-contact lower kinetic chain injuries (foot, ankle, knee, hip, and low back) were reduced by 83.4%.
  2. Total days on the injured reserve for all players was reduced by 80%.
  3. There were zero non-contact recordable injuries for the hip, knee, and ankle for the first time on record.
  4. The team lost 60% less practice and competition time due to injury.
  5. The team competed in the Southern Conference Semifinals with an overall record of 13-6-2.

Due to the positive results for the women’s soccer team, Samford’s other athletic teams are planning to implement similar injury mitigation programs. The university is currently in the process of calculating medical cost savings brought about by the reduced injury rates.

The EliteX Factor

With this case study in mind, we’ve tailored fully-scalable, experiential screening solutions for teams of all sizes at all levels. EliteX 360 has taken a process that traditionally took weeks or months and streamlined it, so we can screen your entire organization over a matter of hours. The process still provides the same in-depth, objective analytics and the customized, actionable reporting and physical therapy consultations that Samford University uses, but in a fraction of the time. That way, you and your team can start experiencing some of the same benefits that Samford University’s soccer team achieved. To learn more about our process, click here.

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