Friday, December 23, 2011

More, More, More!!!

Happy everything!

It is that time of year when everyone thinks more is better. The kids need more cookies in the cookie jar. The kids keep asking for more stuff. There needs to be more food around for Christmas dinner. The kids love more gifts around Christmas. I won’t even mention what some people think they need more of on New Year’s Eve.

Athletics is the same way. The college bowl season started December 17th with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and ends January 9th with the BCS National Championship. (They are actually hosting a bowl game in Boise, Idaho –REALLY) Basketball had a 16 team postseason tournament back in the day. Now, 64 for teams were not enough, so we have a play in game. Apparently, they want even more than that.

Although, some country songs will say you can’t get enough of a good thing. It is this guy’s stance that more rehab is not always the best approach. It is one thing when an athlete sprains an ankle and it is the size of a watermelon. You can work on the swelling and ROM as soon as it is tolerated on a very consistent basis. Rest, ice, elevation, and compression. It’s another thing to have an athlete try to do 250 quad sets (contractions) one day after spraining the medial collateral ligament in their knee.

Generally speaking, athletes know what they need to play the game. They are not going to accept a therapist telling them to do something “just because I said so.” The same thing applies in the weight room and working with the strength and conditioning coach, the athlete is not going to load the bar on the back and do sets of 20 squats without any explanation. Training smarter, not harder is the approach that the athletes have now.
I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but it is not for the lack of effort. If you are giving an athlete an ice bag, educate them why. Explain the reasons behind certain exercises when you design a program. Be able to justify what you are doing to help this athlete get better. Training and rehabilitation is not comparable to the Coney Island hot dog eating contest. More, more, more, is not going to the job done, unlike eating way too many hot dogs.

Once again, happy holidays and safe travels.

Chris Ham, MSA, ATC, CES
Athletic Trainer
Vanderbilt University Baseball

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