Date of Completion


Embargo Period



anterior cruciate ligament, neuromuscular screening, training load

Major Advisor

Lindsay J. DiStefano

Associate Advisor

Craig R. Denegar

Associate Advisor

Lindsey K. Lepley

Associate Advisor

Robert A. Huggins

Associate Advisor

Deena C. Casiero, Cory M. Edgar

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Female basketball athletes are at increased risk for lower extremity injury. Neuromuscular control is a risk factor for musculoskeletal injury and likely fluctuates. Previous studies investigating the relationship between neuromuscular control and injury have typically utilized a single baseline neuromuscular control assessment with prospective injury monitoring, which does not capture potential variability in neuromuscular control that may influence injury risk. Preventive training programs (PTPs) are designed to improve neuromuscular control and can reduce lower extremity injury rates. Training load, or the volume and intensity of activity, may also modulate neuromuscular control. High training load can lead to fatigue, which has been shown to impair neuromuscular control. The relationship between neuromuscular control and training load has not been established. Purposes:1) Evaluate variability in neuromuscular control in adolescent female basketball athletes; 2) Evaluate the effect of PTPs on variability in neuromuscular control measures; 3) Examine the association of neuromuscular control and training load in adolescent female basketball athletes. Study Design: Cohort, observational (Purposes 1 and 3) and interventional (Purpose 2). Methods:Adolescent female basketball athletes (n=67) completed serial neuromuscular control and power assessments during the competitive basketball season. Participantsfrom one organization (n=47) were exposed to PTPs. An additional sample of adolescent female basketball athletes (n=15) completed neuromuscular control assessments before and after daily participation in multi-day basketball tournament. Training load was recorded for Purposes 1 and 3. Statistical Analyses:Repeated measures ANOVAs assessed neuromuscular control variables over time. Bivariate correlations were used to explore the relationship between neuromuscular control and training load. Results: Neuromuscular control varied over an athletic season and during a multi-day tournament. The role of PTPs in neuromuscular control variability is unclear. Findings regarding the relationship between neuromuscular control and training load during an athletic season were inconsistent. There was no association between training load and neuromuscular control during tournament play. Conclusion:Neuromuscular control is dynamic. Single-point neuromuscular control screenings should not be viewed as an absolute determinant of injury risk. Measures of neuromuscular control should be interpreted within the context of the individual and other injury risk factors.

Available for download on Saturday, May 02, 2020