As a coach, you may have heard the term ‘neuromuscular training’ and dismissed it as being too complicated, too academic, or simply too time-consuming to add to your already-packed practice and gameday schedule. But at its core, neuromuscular training simply means getting back to basics with your athletes and working to improve their fundamental movement patterns in order to see more success as things get complicated on the field.
Here, Dr. Michele LaBotz, TrueSport Expert and sports medicine physician, explains exactly what neuromuscular training really means for sport, and how you can apply it to your coaching practice.
What is neuromuscular training?
"A lot of times when we think about conditioning, we think about traditional strength and endurance, but integrated neuromuscular training is really about teaching quality of movement rather than amount of movement or strength of movement,” LaBotz explains. "A really common example is when you're watching a girls' basketball game and you see young girls jump. When they land, their knees tend to collapse inward, and that’s not a healthy pattern of movement, nor is it an efficient one.” Neuromuscular training focuses on correcting that jumping pattern, not just for performance, but to help prevent acute and chronic injuries as well.