Injury Prevention Strategies for Adolescent Cricket Pace Bowlers
Adolescent cricket pace bowlers are prone to non-contact shoulder, low back and lower-limb injuries. Exercise-based injury prevention programmes (IPPs) are effective for reducing non-contact injuries in athletes; however, a specific programme for adolescent pace bowlers has not been published. This paper therefore seeks to provide a rationale for the development of an exercise-based IPP specific for adolescent pace bowlers. It also outlines design principles and provides an example exercise programme that can be implemented at the community level. In addition, the paper addresses other injury prevention techniques concerned with the prescription of appropriate bowling loads and the modification of poor bowling biomechanics. Performing an exercise-based IPP before cricket training could reduce injury rates in adolescent pace bowlers. Eccentric strengthening exercises can be employed to target injuries to the posterior shoulder muscles, hip adductors and hamstring muscles. The risk of low back, knee and ankle injury could also be reduced with the inclusion of dynamic neuromuscular control exercises and trunk extensor endurance exercises. Other prevention strategies that need to be considered include the modification of poor bowling biomechanics, such as shoulder counter-rotation and lateral trunk flexion. Coaches and players should also aim to quantify bowling load accurately and coaches should use this information to prescribe appropriate individualised bowling loads. Specifically, players would benefit from avoiding both long periods of low load and acute periods when load is excessively high. Future evidence is needed to determine the effectiveness of the example programme outlined in this paper. It would also be beneficial to investigate whether the modification of bowling biomechanics is achievable at the non-elite level and if bowling load can be accurately measured and manipulated within a community-level population.
The authors would like to thank Luke Wimbridge at Southern Cricket for his assistance in the Bowling Biomechanics section.
Mitchell Forrest, Brendan Scott, Jeffrey Hebert and Alasdair Dempsey contributed to the conception, design, drafting and final approval of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.
Conflict of interest
Mitchell Forrest, Brendan Scott, Jeffrey Hebert and Alasdair Dempsey declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this paper.
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