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The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has recently released an official statement with health-focused recommendations to reduce the risk of injury due to youth sports specialization. The statement has been endorsed by Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society, Professional Hockey Athletic Training Society, Professional Soccer Athletic Trainers’ Society, National Basketball Athletic Trainers’ Association, Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers’ Society and the NATA Intercollegiate Sports Medicine Council. The statement includes the following recommendations, all aimed at address the health and well-being adolescent and young athletes:

1. Delay specializing in a single sport for as long as possible: Sport specialization is often described as participating and/or training for a single sport year-round. Adolescent and young athletes should strive to participate, or sample, a variety of sports. This recommendation supports general physical fitness, athleticism and reduces injury risk in athletes.

2. One team at a time: Adolescent and young athletes should participate in one organized sport per season. Many adolescent and young athletes participate or train year-round in a single sport, while simultaneously competing in other organized sports. Total volume of organized sport participation per season is an important risk factor for injury.

3. Less than eight months per year: Adolescent and young athletes should not play a single sport more than eight months per year.

4. No more hours/week than age in years: Adolescent and young athletes should not participate in organized sport and/or activity more hours per week than their age (i.e., a 12-year-old athlete should not participate in more than 12 hours per week of organized sport).

5. Two days of rest per week: Adolescent and young athletes should have a minimum of two days off per week from organized training and competition. Athletes should not participate in other organized team sports, competitions and/or training on rest and recovery days.

6. Rest and recovery time from organized sport participation: Adolescent and young athletes should spend time away from organized sport and/or activity at the end of each competitive season. This allows for both physical and mental recovery, promotes health and well-being and minimizes injury risk and burnout/dropout.

Printable Infographic on Youth Sport Specialization Safety Recommendations

Dustin Eslinger, MA, LAT, ATC
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

October 30th, 2019

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Wow, what an entertaining Super Bowl! Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles!   The offensives for both participating teams were amazing!  The amount of yards and points scored in the game will be remembered for a long time.

As an athletic trainer I tend to look a little closer at another aspect of football, the medical care provided to the players.  Being able to appropriately evaluate and treat injuries over the course of such a fast-paced game can be tricky and the policies and procedures will continue to evolve.  It takes a team effort to provide appropriate and comprehensive medical care to players.  Here is a look at the medical professionals that are present during every NFL game:

Each sideline has:

  • 4 Athletic Trainers – Assess and treat player injuries in conjunction with team doctors
  • 2 Orthopedic Medical Doctors – Evaluate and treat players for injuries to the bones and joints
  • 2 Primary Care Physicians – Evaluate players for general medical conditions and concussions
  • 1 Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant – Evaluates players for possible head injuries and concussions
  • 1 Chiropractor – Provides back/spinal adjustments for players and treats muscular injuries

Each stadium has these additional members of the medical team present on gameday

  • 1 Dentist – Treats dental issues
  • 2 Independent Athletic Trainers – Notify on-field staff of possible injuries from the press box. The independent Athletic Trainer spotters can call a medical timeout to stop the game to have a player receive medical attention.
  • 1 Airway Management Physician – Provides emergency intubation to severely injured, non-breathing players
  • 2 EMTs/Paramedic Crew – Transport players to hospital in the event of serious injuries
  • 1 Radiology Technician – Takes x-rays of injured players at the stadium
  • 1 Ophthalmologist – Treats eye injuries
  • 1 Visiting Team Medical Liaison – Local emergency physician certified to practice medicine in the state where the game is being played. The VTML works with the team to provide access to care, medication and first-rate medical facilities.

Although the Minnesota Vikings came up short in the NFC title game last month, their medical team was honored with a big award. The Vikings athletic training staff was recognized last month as the Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year. The Ed Block Courage Award for NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year is voted on by all 32 NFL athletic training staffs and the members of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and recognizes one NFL athletic training staff annually for their distinguished service to their club, community, and athletic training profession. CONGRATULATIONS!

Dustin Eslinger, MA, ATC, ITAT
Athletic Trainer
Physical Therapy Consultants, Inc.

February 8th, 2018

Posted In: General

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