Carville: Competitive spirit, therapy and training gets athlete back on course |

Carville: Competitive spirit, therapy and training gets athlete back on course

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The 2010 competitive snowboarding season was a good one for Celine Holland. As a 14-year-old sophomore at Nevada Union High School, she was on the varsity snow boarding team and completed the season with a state championship second place finish in Giant Slalom racing against high school athletes of all ages from all over the state.

The 2012 season was looking even brighter. Celine was expected to place first at the state championships and a podium finish at nationals. However, just a month into the season, Celine’s competitive dreams came to a crashing halt. Landing a jump in the terrain park, she had to cut sideways to avoid hitting another snowboarder who had cut across her path. The sudden change in direction put excessive force on her knee joint. Celine missed hitting the other boarder and skidded to a stop. Immediately she knew something was wrong. Her season was over.

Celine had torn her ACL, one of four ligaments that hold together the knee. She would require surgery and a tendon graph to repair her ACL plus months of rehabilitation. To continue as a competitive athlete for the following season, she would have to do more than just recover. She would need to rebuild her strength; in fact she needed to be even stronger than she had been before her injury.

Strength and Durability

Celine worked with Denise Kelly at Fit For Life Physical Therapy in Nevada City. As an athlete, Denise put Celine on an accelerated protocol with the initial goals of protecting the tendon-graft, improving range of motion and strengthening the muscles that support the knee. Celine progressed rapidly at Fit for Life.

Her next step was to come to South Yuba Club and rebuild her athletic strength for the upcoming snowboard season. When developing strength programs for athletes, it is important to focus on both performance and durability. This means writing a program that addresses athletic performance and injury prevention. There are over 100,000 ACL tears every year in sports, many of which could be prevented with training programs designed to improve both strength and durability together.

To develop our athletic training programs we use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The screen rates seven movement patterns including the squat, lunge, single-leg stance, core strength and shoulder mobility thereby allowing us to determine which exercises to use when developing a strength and durability program for an athlete. In fact, the FMS has been so beneficial that we now use it to assess all of our personal training members.

Celine’s program focused on integrating core, hip and leg strength. We also worked on hip and upper back mobility. Once she improved her strength and mobility in those areas, we went to work on single-leg strength and plyometric exercises (liner and lateral jumping drills). This helped her knees handle the forces associated with deceleration and directional changes when landing and turning her snowboard. Celine’s base strength program was very similar to programs that we use for many of our young athletes that play lower body intensive sports like soccer, football, and volleyball.

Celine has a great work ethic and has been very dedicated to her training program. These are the attributes of a champion. She has progressed well and vastly improved her functional strength and durability. She has another four weeks of training and then the racing season begins. So far, 2013 is looking very good for Celine Holland.

Mike Carville is a NASM/RKC certified Fitness Coach and co-owner of South Yuba Club in Nevada City and Grass Valley ( If you have exercise or weight loss questions or would like to book mike as a speaker at you next event then please contact him at:

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