Allied Health Faculty Publications

Movement Competency Screen Predicts Performance in Female Military Academy Recruits

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Publication Date


Journal Title

The Sport Journal






Musculoskeletal injuries in military populations are a leading cause for reduced physical readiness (15). Utilizing a screening tool that predicts physical performance and injuries could help identify recruits who need remedial training or conditioning. The Movement Competency Screen (MCS) identifies poor movement patterns and suggests safe load levels for individuals (8). This study sought to establish the predictive ability of the MCS for injuries and performance in United States Naval Academy (USNA) recruits over four years. Fifteen female and 26 male recruits completed the MCS upon entry into the academy. The recruits’ Physical Readiness Test (PRT) scores and injury data were collected for eight semesters. Correlations between MCS scores and recruits’ number of injuries, missed “duty days”, and region of injury were identified using Pearson correlation coefficients. Additionally, correlations between MCS scores and recruits’ overall PRT score, number of push-ups, curl-ups, and their 1.5-mile run time were calculated. Within the first year at USNA recruits’ MCS scores correlated with the number of injuries and missed “duty days”; however, this correlation was not sustained. Recruits also experienced the most injuries in the first year. For female recruits, higher MCS scores correlated with better PRT scores, number of push-ups, and 1.5 mile run times. With its high inter- and intra-rater reliability (12), the MCS could be used to identify poor movement patterns and guide remedial training to help prevent future injury. Further research should focus on a larger military population to determine if the MCS’s predictive abilities go beyond a military academy population.


Reliability, mass screening, United States Armed Forces, military, movement competency, musculoskeletal injury, performance