UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ankle sprain prevention - the effect of the Nike Free shoe in elite male soccer players Nembhard, Nadine Alethia


The original purpose of this investigation was to determine if soccer players who performed an agility training program in a specialized training shoe would have a lower incidence of acute ankle sprains as compared to controls. Two elite male college soccer teams participated in the study. The experimental team performed an agility training program two to three days per week over a three month period wearing the Nike Free Trainer. Data on ankle sprain incidence throughout the season was collected, as well as scores on tests of ankle strength, static balance, dynamic balance, agility and self-reports of ankle function. These scores were compared to those of the control team. Statistical analysis showed a statistically significant improvement in the experimental team members in the anteromedial reach direction of the dynamic balance test (p=0.001). This group also showed positive trends in ankle strength ratio and five of the eight other reach directions of the dynamic balance test. Unfortunately, pre-test, post-test statistical analysis was possible for only half of the experimental team subjects. Post-test data was not generated for the other half of these subjects due to unrelated injury or subject noncompliance. Lack of pre-test data due to subject non-compliance in the control team hindered between group statistical comparisons. This study uncovered promising trends as to the potential for gains in dynamic balance as a result of agility training with Nike Free Trainer. This study also established the reliability of three clinical tests of ankle strength, static balance and dynamic balance. Future well-designed studies are recommended to research this area further to discern the effect of this agility training program on dynamic balance and establish its’ effect on ankle sprain incidence.

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