Point guard is the newest star position in the NBA but that hasn't stopped three of the best PG's from getting injured. Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are currently all recovering from knee-related injuries. For point guards, the knees are the most susceptible body part to injury as they rely on quick stops and starts, which put continuous wear and tear on tendons.
Fortunately for the Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose is back in action and so far better than ever. In his seven preseason games, all victories, he has scored over 20 points. Considering he tore his ACL last April, this is no small feat. Meanwhile, Rondo and Westbrook are still in recovery.
World renown strength coach, Dr. Tim Grover, reminds us that when players are young they don't consider the stress they put on their knees. Grover says this especially tends to happen when the athletes are better than average and forget about protecting themselves. He also believes that when athletes are still in high school or college they simply don't realize the importance of strength training for keeping their bodies healthy.
So how do we keep these knee injuries from happening so we can keep our point guards safe? The two main things to focus on are flexibility and strength. For knees, it's actually best to focus on the hips and thighs to avoid injury. Always try to land with your knees bent in order to avoid putting stress on the ACL (the ligament that sidelined both Rose and Rondo).
And as always, don't overwork your legs. An athlete should never play through a sprain or a strain muscle. Always warm up and cool down - it's important to not "go through the motions" on pre- and post-workout routines. Make sure to emphasize to your athletes that injury prevention is just as important as strength and speed gains. If you're hurt, what good are your offseason gains?
These are just the basics but they are key from high school players to professional point guards. The most important thing is to communicate the concept of injury prevention to our athletes through the lessons that these NBA stars are teaching us.
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