Meet Alex: Talking Soccer, Concussions, Injuries, Bests and Worsts

Hey FOR Community: meet Alex, one of our latest trainers to join the ranks of FOR’s team of professional and skilled – and fun – trainers.  Stay tuned to learn more about Dominika, another new member of our team. 

Like all other FOR trainers, Alex has what it takes to help you feel comfortable yet confident in your movements. His experience with injuries gives him a keen perspective to help clients reach their goals, even through injury.

What are some of the most common injuries you’ve seen in high school and collegiate sports? Throughout my high school and NCAA Division II collegiate soccer career, I have experienced multiple injuries: an MCL tear, ankle sprains and a couple muscle strains. As I began my coaching career through high school and college, the most common injuries are still knee and ankle joint injuries, as well as hip flexor and hamstring strains.

How important is mobility, flexibility and agility to your training program? Mobility, flexibility and agility are all intertwined. Flexibility in the muscles helps tremendously for mobility in our joints. Without enough muscle flexibility and joint mobility, we are not able to create the proper movement patterns in sports thus not being agile, or even worse, lead to injury. During my training programs, the first phase is concentrated on mobility, flexibility and fix muscle imbalances and stability. Once we have good mobility and flexibility we can work on agility and teach proper movement patterns while being less susceptible to injury. Furthermore, we create a better/explosive athlete.

Where do you believe the current thinking is on concussions? Aren’t they most prominent in soccer – a “non-contact” sport? Concussions are now being taken very seriously through high school and college sports, as well as professional. As a college coach, the NCAA has really cracked down on concussions by performing concussion tests consistently almost every 1-2 months. I believe with more studies being done, the prevention of concussions in certain sports (football, hockey, and lacrosse) will increase. Yes, concussions have been said to be most prominent in soccer, especially with girls’ and women’s soccer. You will be surprised that most concussions aren’t due to a collision of two players but heading the ball constantly. A lot of soccer associations throughout the U.S. are implementing a new rule: Players in U11 programs or younger shall not engage in heading the ball in practices and games. I understand the importance of the rule but also proper techniques in heading the ball should be coached as well at an early age.

Can you give me 1-2 game time “bests” and 1-2 “worsts” for you? Best: I will never forget this game. Senior year, we were playing against West Virginia Wesleyan, our conference rival, at home. I was playing Left Wing for Shepherd University. Within 15 minutes of the game, I took the ball down the line twice creating two assists. We won that game 2-0 which put us in 1st place in the conference and secured a conference playoff spot. Worst: Midway through my junior year of college, I had multiple ankle sprains that kept me out 3-4 weeks at a time missing a lot of playing time.

Now is the time to take advantage of our special Alex rate. He is sure to fill quickly!

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