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How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes’ Health and Well-Being 0

Posted on November 12, 2017 by Rachelle Wilber

How Coaches and Counselors Can Support Their Athletes' Health and Well-BeingAthletes face many challenges not only in their sport of choice but also in everyday life. Consequently, these challenges can affect their performance both on and off the field, whether male or female. Therefore, not only do they need the help of their coaches, but also of counselors to help them navigate their everyday lives.

The Role of Coaches

Coaches deal with their players on an everyday basis. Consequently, they play a significant role in their athletes’ lives and spend a lot of time with their players. Coaches are responsible for training athletes on the skills and techniques for the given sport. As such, coaches should be equipped a master’s degree in coaching, and with both leadership and technical skills to manage their athletes’ performance. To ensure they are in the best physical shape, coaches follow up on athletes’ diets, training regimen and general well-being. Coaches should be duly trained on the best knowledge and skills essential for bringing out the best performance in an athlete. A coach should also foster a sense of community, confidence, and teamwork for their team if they are dealing with a team sport.

Individual Sports

Even when dealing with individual sports, the coach is still responsible for ensuring athletes are in the best physical and mental conditions to handle competition. Good coaches contribute to the confidence levels exuded by players both on and off the field. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the coach to ensure he/she has a good working relationship with their athletes. Read the rest of this entry →

Saving Your Back and Your Pocketbook: Golf Ball Retrievers are a Golfer’s Best Friend 0

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Katherine Taylor
Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Back injuries have derailed the once great career of Tiger Woods.

Out of all the sports known to man, golf is the least aggressive and the least violent. Yet, every year professional golfers suffer serious injuries, some that threaten to remove them from the game forever. In 2014, Tiger Woods, formerly the world’s top golfer, had surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. In 2015, he underwent a second microdiscectomy surgery with a follow-up procedure on his back. And this year, he had fusion surgery on his back as well.

After these, and other procedures, the golfer told reporters that he is unsure if he will ever play competitive golf again.

Back Pain: The Cost of Golf

According to Spine-Health, golfers can be afflicted by three different forms of back injury. First is muscles strains which “typically occur with rough or forceful golf swings or a sudden shift during the downswing.” Second, is muscle and tendon attachment which “generally occur due to excessive use, accidents, or swing abnormalities while playing golf.” Third, is disc injuries which also “occur from swinging abnormalities.” Additionally, low back pain and back injuries occur frequently because of repetitive bending over to pick up golf balls and line up shots.

Getting back injuries treated can be an extremely costly procedure. Spinal fusion surgery, such as what Tiger Woods had to undergo, can cost from $100,000 to $115,000. While Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour wins and has been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for years, can easily handle such a cost, the everyday golf enthusiast or the occasional leisure golfer who can’t hire a personal caddy (or who doesn’t have an enthusiastic grandchild who loves chasing balls) won’t be able to. So what can be done?

Golf Ball Retrievers Help Eliminate Back Pain

Well, there is a tool that eliminates the constant need to bend over while playing — the golf ball retriever. The best golf ball retrievers allow you to only have to exert your arm and your hand to pick up golf balls — not your back. They typically run in the $15 range and can easily be ordered online or at many golf shops. Golf ball retrievers are usually extendable — they can extend from six feet to up to fifteen feet, ensuring that a stray golf ball is never outside your reach. They are conveniently foldable and easy to carry. Getting golf balls out of water holes or sand traps is a lot easier with a retriever. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports Injuries 0

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Dixie Somers

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports InjuriesEngaging in sports provides the exercise the body needs, in an enjoyable manner that also fosters regular interaction with other people. These qualities explain why it is one of the most popular ways of staying fit and healthy. However, many sports include the risk of injury, usually from various sprains and strains that occur during play. You can prevent many of these injuries by taking proactive measures to protect your joints and muscles against overuse. Here are a few tips for staying injury-free and ready for play.

Do Warm-up Stretches

You can prevent common injuries, such as ankle sprains, back strains and groin pulls by doing a series of warm-up exercises that work your body sufficiently to improve blood flow that helps protect muscles. Stretches, jogging in place, knee bends and other gentle exercises help to prepare your body for a vigorous physical workout.

Provide Proper Support

If you have an ankle that tends to give out or a knee that sometimes fails, use an elastic brace or Rock tape to provide additional support. Proper bracing can help to avoid sprains and dislocations that can keep you out of the game for long periods of time. If you are engaged in a sport that poses a risk for tooth injuries, use a mouth guard to prevent damage to teeth that can result in the need for extensive dental work. A simple elbow to the mouth could result in something as serious as the need for a root canal. Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: Is the NFL Really in Trouble This Time? 3

Posted on July 29, 2017 by Dean Hybl
A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

A recent study of the brains of former NFL players showed almost all had some level of brain trauma.

For the last year or more, it seems every time there is a negative story about the NFL, it prompts the obligatory question of whether that particular issue will be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” and signal the start of the decline for the financial and popularity juggernaut.

Whether it be declining television ratings, continued off-the-field incidents by players, the perception by many that the game isn’t as physical as in past, the abandonment of long-time NFL cities in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland, the general unpopularity of Roger Goodell and the New England Patriots or a number of other “negative” stories or events, they all seem to just roll off the back of the NFL as overall revenues continue to increase to levels envied by most governments or for-profit businesses.

However, news that came out this week may over time be the one story that the NFL cannot easily shake.

A scientific study published this week in the medical journal JAMA looked at the brains of 202 deceased former high school, college and professional football players. Amongst those former players, 177, including 110 of the 111 former NFL players, were diagnosed as having CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).

CTE is a degenerative brain disease most often found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. To create CTE, a protein called Tau forms clumps that slowly spread throughout the brain, killing brain cells. Studies have found CTE in people as young as 17, but symptoms most typically don’t begin appearing until years after the initial head impacts.

Early symptoms of CTE affect a patient’s mood and behavior. Some common changes often include impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and paranoia.

As the disease progresses, it is typical for patients to experience problems with thinking and memory, including memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, and eventually progressive dementia. Cognitive symptoms tend to appear later than mood and behavioral symptoms, and often first appear when the patient is in their 40s or 50s. Patients may exhibit one or both symptom clusters and the symptoms may often worsen with time (even if the patient suffers no additional head impacts). In other cases, symptoms may be stable for years before worsening. Read the rest of this entry →

Taking a Time-Out: 4 Tips for Managing a Sports Injury 2

Posted on July 10, 2017 by Kara Masterson

injuryPlaying a sport can help you stay in shape, stay connected with friends and have fun at the same time. If you have been injured, you may be tempted to play through the pain or come back too soon. These are both bad ideas. What are some good ways to manage your sports injuries?

See Your Doctor

The first thing that you should do is see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis of your injury. After determining the extent of the damage done to your body, he or she can create a timeline to returning to play. If the injury is a minor one, you may just need to rest or limit the amount of time spent on the field for a few days. If the injury is a major one, it may require months of rehab or surgery to correct.

What If Surgery Is Needed?

Seeing an orthopedic surgeon like Western Orthopaedics or someone similar may be necessary if you have a torn tendon or have ripped a muscle from the bone. If you have suffered from chronic pain, getting surgery may help you live a better quality of life both on and off the field. Depending on your age and other health factors, you could recover in a matter of weeks.  Read the rest of this entry →

4 Strategies For Preventing And Overcoming A Sports-Related Concussion 0

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Emma Sturgis

concussionsOver 3.5 million sport participants are injured every year. If a person has multiple concussions, it may make simple tasks such as driving to the grocery store or remembering someone’s name difficult or impossible. A concussion can have serious effects on a person’s health both now and well into the future.  Concussions and brain trauma are becoming more common, with 79% of deceased football players having CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy.) Therefore, it is important for an athlete to understand how to either avoid a concussion or how to overcome one that has already occurred.

Wear A Head And Mouth Protection

While wearing a helmet or a mouth guard won’t necessarily prevent a concussion from occurring, it can provide protection against punches, errant throws or other debris. It may also be the difference between living and dying if your head hits the ice or the ground with force. Read the rest of this entry →

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