Later in the afternoon Jose Fernandez and Dr. Bruce Williams presented on screening athletes. What they did was take an athlete who was struggling to be clean from any nagging injuries. Much of it was likely that faster athletes break down. I don’t work with many soccer players, so it was good to see those involved with the EPL and college setting to share their experience screening. Jose tested the athlete with TMG (Tensiomyography) and Bruce did a simple gait analysis using the pressure mapping systems available. Art Horne, who drives the bus on the conference used the Tekscan in-shoe system as well as video and optogait. What was exciting is that more and more technologies are going mobile or tablet as well as being wireless. Soon much of the systems will be embedded or part of wearable technologies in the apparel market, as Nike has five sensors in some of their shoes, and Adidas is integrating shoe sensors in their miCoach system.
The Division 1 athlete plays soccer out of state, so it was great timing that he was able to drive up to Boston to get tested and evaluated. While I believe in functional screening, be it the PCA or other options, it’s not a complete picture. Like I mentioned earlier in my post with Hakeem Nicks, no table test is going to estimate the likelihood of fifth metatarsal fractures. I mentioned this and it was clear that this is going to happen more and more. Other injury patterns are increasing, similar to sports hernia and we have the option of reducing some of the problems now. I don’t find it proper to share medical information so I will get into the point of the athlete, who is healthy but had some past issues that could help explain a lot of what Derrick Rose may have encountered.
Derrick Rose struggled with turf toe and a common compensation is to put the femur external rotation changes in order to keep pressure of that first head. Apparently a rumor of some photographers were switching their picture option to video down on the floor because of the limits of the NBA Prozone. Those videos were likely sent to Europe so that betters in Monoco could see if it was better to put money on the Heat! Anyway, the adductors get recruited more when the femur and foot mechanics compensate, and eventually the back will experience shock if the imbalances are not taken care of. Other factors such as extended injury time reduces fitness and sharpness, exposing the athlete to injury. While it’s nice to talk about managing fatigue, if one is structurally and mechanically not sound, being functional and managing things is not going to work. Proponents of this don’t like the injury records being public on ESPN, as working with elite athletes is very difficult because of compliance and the pressure to compete.
Art and myself tried to encourage participation but it seems like when muscle physiology and foot mechanics were up for discussion, we needed more familiarity with the subject matter as a whole, since not much contribution was made. If open discussion is not available, then innovation will decrease or not rise as fast as possible. More and more methods of assessing athletes with technology and manual skills will evolve. With dozens and dozens of lab quality equipment we will see coaches collect more and more meaningful data.
The take away subject here is that during a presentation we need to explicitly share the data you are talking about. I don’t care if it’s one session or one season, share what you are experiencing. It’s great to have research or other citations listed, but without actual record keeping it’s a debate of what someone sees and that is like going to an Art Museum and talking about feelings. Nice to do but not very helpful when athletes are getting hurt.