Welcome

Thank you for visiting Just for Kicks, a unique website aimed at helping female soccer players and their families better understand the dreaded ACL tear. Here you will find educational content on topics like the anatomy of the knee, mechanisms of ACL injury, different risk factors that can predispose you to an ACL tear, and various prevention strategies to help mitigate your risk of injury. Blog posts and video content will be added frequently to help educate you on what you can do to reduce your risk of ending up on the sidelines.

About Me

Hi! I’m Julie. I’m a physical therapist currently serving the Greater Boston area. I graduated with my clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in the spring of 2018 and am now working in outpatient orthopedics. Prior to PT school, I earned my Master’s degree in Sport Management from the University of Connecticut, learning the in’s and out’s of business and marketing. I conducted research in the area of sport psychology, and I wrote a thesis on athletic identity and its relationship with both voluntary and involuntary career termination/ transition from sport. I also earned my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, majoring in Allied Health Sciences. While at UConn, I was a captain, starter, and scholarship player for the varsity women’s soccer team. I transferred to Connecticut in January 2011 after playing my first two collegiate seasons with the Penn State Nittany Lions.

For those who don’t know me, I get hurt…a lot. I’ve always been one of those kids who would have been better off living in a bubble. This past fall, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament for the fourth time. Needless to say, after much thought and prayer (and prolonged conversation with my surgeon), I have faced the fact that I need to hang up the cleats permanently. I’ve spent a lot of time searching for new ways to find fulfillment, which has ultimately lead me to start the Just for Kicks blog. I pursued physical therapy because I really want to help people. Specifically, I want to help young female soccer players stay in the game and off the sidelines for as long as possible. Did you know that female soccer players are as much as 4-8x more likely to tear their ACL when compared to boys their age? That’s insane! Because of this, I have made it my goal to educate young players and their families about the dangers of ACL injury and to help implement injury reduction programs for female soccer players across the state.

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But why should you trust me? You’re asking the kid who has torn her ACL four times for advice on how not to tear an ACL. That’s like asking the class clown for tutoring advice or [insert less PC analogy here]. While I have certainly had my fair share of misfortune, I have taken a special interest in ACL prevention and rehabilitation. I performed capstone research on ACL prevention in female soccer players, where my colleagues and I analyzed the reliability of a mobile phone application versus gold-standard software in the identification of “high-risk” players through video analysis. I also recently acquired my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) qualification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and successfully fulfilled all requirements for the Sport Strength and Conditioning/Management of the Injured Athlete concentration at Northeastern University. I have excelled in the realm of musculoskeletal/orthopedic rehabilitation and enjoy keeping up to date on the latest evidence-based practice and continuing education courses. I have spent extensive time learning from rehabilitation, injury prevention, and sport performance practitioners and have even made my way into the operating room to observe ACL reconstruction surgery on occasion. You should trust me because I care and because I have made it my mission to decrease the incidence of ACL injury to female soccer players in the Greater Boston area.

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In the Media

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Hubbard: From Tribulations to Triumph

Show Your Scars Podcast

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Staying Safe in an Injury Prone Sport