Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Injury Prevention; Athletes; Education; Adolescent; Youth Sport

Major Advisor

Lindsay J DiStefano

Associate Advisor

Douglas J Casa

Associate Advisor

Craig R Denegar

Associate Advisor

David I Gregorio

Associate Advisor

Stephanie M Mazerolle

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Background: Over 40 million children participate in organized sport in the United States annually, but each day approximately 8,000 children are treated in emergency departments (EDs) due to sport-related injuries, resulting in over $925 million in health care costs. Exercise-based preventive training programs (PTPs) used as a team warm-up can reduce injuries dramatically but youth coaches do not commonly use PTPs. Understanding barriers and facilitators that drive PTP adoption and compliance at the youth sport level could dramatically enhance PTP dissemination and propagate injury reduction in athletes. Further, determining the relationship between coach compliance with PTPs and the effect on athlete injury risk is necessary to promote PTP adoption.

Purpose: The purposes of this dissertation were to evaluate the impact of different educational strategies (Generalized, Tailored) on youth soccer and basketball coaches’ behavior drivers for PTP implementation. A secondary purpose was to apply an implementation framework to different youth sport organizations to evaluate which areas of implementation may be more challenging. A final purpose was to evaluate the impact of a coaches’ educational workshop on athlete movement technique following one season.

Study Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial.

Methods: Mixed methods approach. Youth soccer and basketball coaches volunteered to participate. Coaches were randomized by league into a Tailored or General workshop. We evaluated coaches’ attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavior control, and behavioral intention to adopt a PTP using a pre- and post-workshop survey consisting of Likert-scale and open-ended questions, as well as a post-season questionnaire to evaluate PTP implementation. Athletes completed a PRE and POST season movement assessment.

Results: There were no significant differences between workshop groups on attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, or behavioral intention to adopt. Establishing the administrative team was the most challenging framework step to complete. There were no significant differences between workshops on athlete movement technique from PRE to POST but there was a main effect for time (P=0.03).

Conclusions: A generalized workshop design was as effective as a tailored workshop in increasing some aspects of coach injury prevention behavior as well as athlete movement technique.

Key Words: Injury Prevention; Athletes; Education; Adolescent; Sports

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