Coach and Athletic Director

September/October 2017

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46 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 SPORTS MEDICINE SPOTLIGHT caring for athletes As summer winds down and preseason wraps up, coaches emphatically speak about how "the past is the past" and "the work has just begun." They outline what needs to be accomplished before the first game, and they focus on how small details lead to big results. While it's important that coaches pay close attention to performance, that approach should also be a core principle when developing injury prevention programs. Athletes, coaches, administrators and medical personnel all face difficulties in doing things that don't provide at least some level of immediate gratification, and injury prevention training is no different. Catching a pass, scoring a goal, or outrunning everyone else is more satisfying than completing that third set of TheraBand walks or lower core strength sessions. In the fall, it's quite typical to see athletes with lower extremity overuse injuries in sports such as soccer, football, field hockey, cross country, and track and field. Athletic trainers have all treated athletes who decided to wait until 10 days before the preseason to start training for the upcoming season, falsely believing they can make up for a relatively relaxing summer. This method of training overestimates the body's ability to heal itself, and underestimates the impacts small details have on biomechanics. With appropriate training loads, the body can repair or rebuild itself and become stronger, but the opposite can occur when it's overloaded. One way to visualize the process is to imagine two things all of us are familiar with: traffic and potholes. In most states, especially those with wintery weather, roads often develop potholes because of traffic and environmental conditions. These potholes did not just suddenly appear 6-inches deep. Whether it was from heavy trucks or water freezing in the cracks, the pothole starts with microscopic failures and grows bigger over time if not treated. With running or other lower- extremity loading sports, stress By Corey Dawkins, columnist paying attention TO DETAIL Minor injuries like blisters can be a big deal for athletes

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