The Rise of the Quantified Athlete Review

Courteney Benjamin, MS, CSCS, Associate Director of Communication and Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety

Gabrielle Giersch, MS, Associate Director of Education and Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety

 

It’s not a secret that the use of wearable technology in sports is a hot topic among many of the world’s leading experts in sports and research. The popularity of this idea led to the creation of the first symposium of its kind called “The Rise of the Quantified Athlete.” Harvard Innovation Labs, Sports Innovation Lab, and OneTeam Collective worked together to create what is sure to be the first of many similar meetings between the world’s leading experts and innovators in sports and technology. At this symposium, there were four panels designed for informing, optimizing, and focusing the use of wearable technologies in sports and a fifth panel of elite athletes centering on their experiences with various technologies.

We were fortunate to attend this meeting at the world-class facilities of the Harvard Innovation Lab on Harvard University’s campus in Boston, MA. This lab “is a unique collaboration and education space designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Harvard.1

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This group worked with the Sports Innovation Lab founders Isaiah Kacyvenski (NFL veteran), Angela Ruggiero (Hockey Olympic Gold Medalist), and Joshua Walker (Researcher) to put on this event.  The purpose of this organization is to “identify and evaluate the technology products and services that will power the future of sports.2” OneTeam Collective, the third partner responsible for putting on this event, is an organization “designed to accelerate growth for companies seeking to align with the sports industry.3

The organizations that attended this meeting ranged from veterans to up-and-coming companies trying to gain a niche in this growing market. In addition to our group from KSI, the following companies and/or organizations were involved in the panel discussions.

Company/Organization Website
Harvard Innovation Lab https://i-lab.harvard.edu/
Sports Innovation Lab https://www.sportsilab.com/
OneTeam Collective http://www.oneteamcollective.com/
Intel http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wearables/wearables-overview.html
Gatorade Sports Science Institute http://www.gssiweb.org/en
ESPN Sports Science http://www.espn.com/espn/sportscience/
US Army http://www.usariem.army.mil/
Harvard Biodesign Lab http://biodesign.seas.harvard.edu/
MIT Sports Technology Group https://innovation.mit.edu/
USC Center for Body and Computing https://www.uscbodycomputing.org/
VERT https://www.myvert.com/
NIX http://nixbiosensors.com/
MC10 https://www.mc10inc.com/
Humon https://humon.io/
Halo Neuroscience https://www.haloneuro.com/
Rabil Companies http://endurancecos.com/meet-the-team/paul-rabil/
STRIVR Labs http://strivrlabs.com/
WHOOP http://whoop.com/
Zebra Technologies https://www.zebra.com/us/en/solutions/location-solutions/zebra-sport-solution.html
STATS https://www.stats.com/

 

 

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Dr. Casa during the “4th Quarter” Panel Discussion

Dr. Douglas Casa served on the third panel titled: “Software Changing the Role of Coaches and the Analysis of Athletic Performance” where he was able to discuss the importance of research in development of wearable technologies and how KSI has been involved in that research world. He suggested that every company entering this market should reach out to a third-party research group to validate their device in a peer-reviewed fashion. This type of validation will provide the company and the consumer confidence that their product works.

 

To wrap up the symposium, the following big names in sports discussed their experience with technology:

Matt Hasselbeck IMG_0393(NFL, ESPN), Ryan Fitzpatrick (NY Jets), Sean Sansiveri (NFLPA), Dr. Leslie Saxon (USC Center for Body Computing), Meghan Duggan (United States Olympic Committee), Paul Rabil (MLL and US Lacrosse), Zak DeOssie (NY Giants), Shawn Springs (NFL), andCraig Adams (NHL).

 

Overall, this symposium was an awesome start to a much larger, much needed conversation. It seemed that the general consensus with most attendees was that all of the technology and data we are now able to gather is phenomenal. Moving forward, we must all continue to strive to validate every measurement tool, make sense of all of the data these tools are collecting, and determine best practices for using this analysis to make meaningful differences in performance. This is an exciting time to be in this field, in its infancy, when the potential for growth is limitless.

 

 

  1. Harvard i-lab. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://i-lab.harvard.edu/
  2. Sports Innovation Lab (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://www.sportsilab.com/
  3. OneTeam Collective. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://www.nflpa.com/oneteamcollective

 

Study: Private schools offer fewer athletic training services than public schools (USA Today)

A new study has revealed that there is a greater percentage of public secondary schools than private schools in the United States offering athletic training services.

The results of the study published in the Journal of Athletic Training state that while 37 percent of public secondary schools have a full-time athletic trainer to meet the healthcare needs of student-athletes, only 28 percent of private secondary schools do.

According to the research, only 58 percent of private secondary schools provide some amount of athletic training services, compared to 70 percent for public schools.

“Despite the documented benefits of having an AT on site for both practices and games, many schools, public and private, do not provide this critical medical service to their students,” writes lead author Alicia Pike, MS, ATC, the associate director of research at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut.

For the study, researchers from the Korey Stringer Institute in the Department of Kinesiology at UConn conducted the survey that was funded in part by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. School athletic directors (or principals, if no athletic director was employed) from 8,509 public secondary schools and 2,044 private schools responded by phone or email. The data was collected from September 2011 to June 2014.

Despite the differences in athletic training services, though, both settings provided a similar number of student-athletes with access to medical care. Barriers to hiring trainers were seen as comparable between public and private secondary schools.

For more on the study, you can read the study from the scientific publication of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association scientific here.

Source: USA Today

Why Exercise Science Matters

By: Gabrielle Giersch M.S., Assistant Director of Education, Korey Stringer Institute

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I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Connecticut in the field of exercise science. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Roanoke College, a small liberal arts college in Virginia, and my Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from James Madison University. This educational background leads me to the first edition for this educational editorial series from the Korey Stringer Institute: Why Exercise Science Matters. Exercise science is a largely growing academic subject area and department in many universities. But not many people, including students that are in this major, know what to do with an exercise science degree. For many, it’s seen as a precursor for PT or PA school, and the material isn’t always taken very seriously for it’s value. It’s often seen as the in between, something one has to do to get somewhere else, not some place where many students actually want to stay.

 

My hope is that people see that there are so many things you can do with an exercise science degree. For example, technology is evolving to be more adept at measuring physiological variables so everyday people, not just elite athletes or coaches, can monitor their wellness, fitness, stress, sleep, and many other physiological variables. Research is constantly improving to better equip individuals with technology and provide guidance in interpreting the data properly with goals to optimize athletic performance, health, and safety. To achieve that, we analyze detailed data, from the level of microscopic molecules and genetic expressions, in combination with observations from what actually happens in the field, to make informed decisions about human physiology. Exercise science provides practitioners with the ability to directly relate the research back to the human body and its movements. This makes the education of those in exercise science even more important, particularly with regard to evidence and research based education.

 

For this field to advance, it is vital for everyone who is involved in exercise science to have access to evidence and research-based practices, as well as outstanding educational resources. This applies not only to the students, athletic trainers, athletes, team coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, clinical exercise physiologists, physical therapists, professors, and researchers, but, ANYONE who is partaking in physical activity, exercise, or sports. We need to spread the word about exercise science and evidence based knowledge instead of dispelling myths from previous generations (see classical heat stroke vs. exertional heat stroke). Using evidence and research can not only improve performance of elite athletes, it can also help to save lives. The American College of Sports Medicine has a global health initiative called Exercise is Medicine (http://www.exerciseismedicine.org/) which refers to the applicability of exercise and physical activity for all people. Our goal should be to use evidence to broaden our field of expertise and make this field larger and more applicable to our society as a whole. The athletic trainers, the professors, the researchers, the physical therapists, and the exercise scientists already know that it matters. I think it’s time the rest of the world did too!

 

The views represented in this editorial are those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Korey Stringer Institute. Statements made within this editorial should not be construed as official statements from the Korey Stringer Institute.

NATA Meeting Preview

Rachel Katch, ATC, MS

Associate Director of Military and Occupational Safety

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On June 26th – 29th, members of both the Korey Stringer Institute’s (KSI) staff and Medical & Science Advisory Board will be traveling to Houston, Texas to present at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) 68th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. Topics for dissemination range from the most up-to-date biomechanical research, to preventing sudden death in sport, all the way to new ground-breaking research regarding insurance costs for athletic trainers. No matter the topic, these presentations will provide those in attendance with evidence based research and information pertinent to enhancing the athletic training profession. Specific dates, times, and locations for each presentation being disseminated by the KSI staff and Medical & Science Advisory Board members are available below in Table 1. Hope to see you at the NATA Clinical Symposia, and always, please make sure to come and see us at our KSI booth at the AT Expo!

 

KSI Medical & Science Advisory Board Presentations

Lindsay DiStefano, PhD, ATC, from the University of Connecticut (UConn) will be disseminating multiple presentations during the course of the symposium. One presentation is titled, “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Strategies: Translation of Research Findings into Clinical Practice,” and focuses on introducing the most current ACL injury prevention research and the evidence behind it. Additionally, Dr. DiStefano has a feature presentation during the session, “Lower Limb Preventative Training Programs Best Practice,” titled, “Effectiveness of Lower Limb Preventive Training Programs at Reducing Injuries.” This presentation will focus on educating attendees about the effectiveness, best practices, and implementation of preventative training programs.

 

Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill will be presenting, “Catastrophic Traumatic Injuries in Sport,” during the session titled, “Catastrophic Sports Injury and Illnesses Among US College and High Schools.” This is a feature presentation alongside Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA who will also be speaking during this session with a presentation titled, “Catastrophic Heat and Exertional-Related Conditions Among Athletes.” This session will focus on the incidence and characteristics of catastrophic events, and evidence-based policies and recommendations to minimize the risk of these events in the future.

 

From the University of South Florida, Rebecca Lopez, PhD, ATC will be presenting, “Exertional Heat Illness in Younger Athletes,” as well as a learning lab titled, “Recognition and Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke.” The purpose of the first evidence-based forum is to provide clinicians with the best evidence-based clinical practice regarding the prevention, recognition, treatment, and return to play for the most common exertional heat illnesses. Second, the learning lab will focus on providing clinicians with the knowledge and opportunity to practice rectal thermometry and cold water immersion in a safe learning environment.

 

Also from the UConn, Stephanie Mazerolle, PhD, ATC, FNATA in the session, “A Multi-Level Examination of Career Intentions and Work-Life Balance,” will be presenting, “Individual Elements that Influence the Development of Career Planning and Work-Life Balance.”  This is a feature presentation that will examine and discuss research available regarding alternative therapies utilized in the clinical setting to promote work-life balance. Additionally, Brendon McDermott, PhD, ATC from the University of Arkansas will be presenting, “Exertional Heat Illness in Younger Athletes.” This committee session will focus on providing clinicians with the best evidence-based clinical practice regarding the prevention, recognition, treatment, and return to play for the most common exertional heat illnesses.

 

Lastly, Kevin Miller, PhD, AT, ATC from Central Michigan University will be presenting, “New Advances in Exertional Heatstroke Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention.” This special topic presentation will discuss recent experimental studies that address the necessity of equipment removal prior to initiating cold-water immersion; whether cooling garments can prevent the onset of hyperthermia or affect hydration status; whether temperate water can be used to effectively cool hyperthermic humans; and how far into the rectum Athletic Trainers should insert a thermometer to obtain the most valid data.

KSI Staff Presentations

Multiple KSI staff will be presenting in a session titled, “Enhancing Safety of Secondary School Athletics Through Policy Change,” including Alicia Pike, MS, ATC, Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC, and William Adams, PhD, ATC. Individually, their presentation titles are, “Examining Sport Safety Policies in Secondary Schools: An Analysis of States’ Progress Toward and Barriers to Policy Implementation,” “State High School Athletics Policy Change Successes and Barriers: Results from the Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport Meeting,” and, “Current Status of Evidence-Based Best Practice Recommendations in Secondary School Athletics,” respectively. This feature presentation will provide participants with evidence describing the barriers associated with implementing policy change from a state administrative level and the steps that have been made to initiate change to protect secondary school student athletes.

 

Additionally in a session titled, “The Secondary School AT Value Model, Minimizing Cost and Maximizing Safety from an Insurance Perspective,” Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, and Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC, will be disseminating their respective presentations titled, “Optimizing the Direction of Care: A Secondary Insurance Claims Analysis,” and, “We Can’t Afford to Hire an AT…You Can’t Afford Not To! Reducing Risk, Saving Money, and Saving Lives.” In this committee session presented by the NATA Initiative, the speakers will: (1) discuss ways athletic training services may directly benefit multiple entities (insurance providers, policy holders, and school districts), (2) critically assess the secondary insurance cost to identify unnecessary medical costs, and (3) minimize the financial burden of secondary schools through injury prevention and appropriate risk management.

 

Lastly, Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC will present, “An Overview of the Secondary Schools ATLAS Project: Where Are We Now?” in the session, “Out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan.” This committee session presented by the Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee will outline the use of the ATLAS project to show the concentration of secondary school athletic trainers and its value for potential networking within and between states and organizations.

 

Table 1. List of Presenters

Presenter Presentation Title Time / Location
  TUESDAY, JUNE 27th, 2017
Rebecca Lopez, PhD, ATC Exertional Heat Illness in Younger Athletes 8:15 AM

BCC, Room 370

Stephanie Mazerolle, PhD, ATC, FNATA Individual Elements that Influence the Development of Career Planning and Work-Life Balance 8:15 AM

BCC, General Assembly A

Brendon McDermott, PhD, ATC Exertional Heat Illness in Younger Athletes 8:15 AM

BCC, Room 370

Kevin Miller, PhD, AT, ATC New Advances in Exertional Heatstroke Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention 10:45 AM

BCC, Grand Ballroom C

Rebecca Lopez, PhD, ATC Recognition and Treatment of Exertional Heat Stroke 1:30 PM

BCC, Room 342

Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC An Overview of the Secondary Schools ATLAS Project: Where Are We Now? 2:10 PM

BCC, Grand Ballroom A

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28th, 2017
Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC Catastrophic Traumatic Injuries in Sport 7:00 AM

BCC, General Assembly A

Douglas Casa, PhD, ATC, FNATA Catastrophic Heat and Exertional-Related Conditions Among Athletes 7:30 AM

BCC, General Assembly A

Lindsay DiStefano, PhD, ATC Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Strategies: Translation of Research Findings into Clinical Practice 7:30 AM

BCC, Room 370

THURSDAY, JUNE 29th, 2017
Lindsay DiStefano, PhD, ATC Effectiveness of Lower Limb Preventive Training Programs at Reducing Injuries 10:45 AM

BCC, General Assembly B

Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC “We Can’t Afford to Hire an AT”… “You Can’t Afford Not To!” Reducing Risk, Saving Money, and Saving Lives 10:45 AM

BCC, Grand Ballroom B

 

Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC Optimizing the Direction of Care: A Secondary Insurance Claims Analysis 11:15 AM

BCC, Grand Ballroom B

William Adams, PhD, ATC Current Status of Evidence-Based Best Practice Recommendations in Secondary School Athletics 3:30 PM

BCC, General Assembly A

Robert Huggins, PhD, ATC State High School Athletics Policy Change Successes and Barriers: Results from the Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sport Meeting 4:00 PM

BCC, General Assembly A

 

Alicia Pike, MS, ATC Examining Sport Safety Policies in Secondary Schools: An Analysis of States’ Progress Toward and Barriers to Policy Implementation 4:30 PM

BCC, General Assembly A

 

Athletic Director Meeting on Secondary School Health and Safety

Alicia Pike, Associate Director of Research, KSI

 

In collaboration with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) is conducting a study assessing perceptions of medical care provided at the secondary school level from various key stakeholder groups. These stakeholders are in a position to influence the level of medical care provided to secondary school athletes and include athletic directors, principals, superintendents, parents, coaches, and legislators.

 

As part of this initiative, participants are asked if they would like to take part in a focus group session. The purpose of the focus group, similar to a group discussion, is to gain a more in depth understanding of the participants’ perceptions, and allow them to interact with each other through open dialogue in a non-threatening environment. As the study kicks off, the KSI staff couldn’t think of a better place to hold our first focus group than in Nashville, TN!

 

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) was holding their National Athletic Director Conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville from December 9th to the 13th. With a meeting made possible by the NATA, we recruited athletic directors for a focus group in support of this research initiative. On December 9th, Christy Eason, a University of Connecticut alum and now Assistant Professor of Athletic Training at Lasell College, and myself, conducted our very first focus group. The meeting was a success and resulted in rich dialogue between athletic directors with diverse backgrounds on various health and safety standards.

 

Dr. Douglas Casa, CEO of KSI, and Dr. Rebecca Stearns, COO of KSI, also made the trip to Nashville and were instrumental in ensuring the success of this meeting. After the focus group session, Rachael Oates, Assistant Executive Director of the NATA, and Amanda Muscatell, NATA External Marketing Manager, spoke about the history of the NATA and its growth over the years, as well as their major marketing initiative, AT Your Own Risk. To finish off the meeting, Dr. Casa presented on best practice standards for preventing sudden death in sport, focusing in on the top safety standards that athletic directors in Tennessee should have in place.

 

This meeting not only provided great insight on athletic directors’ perceptions, but also provided an opportunity to network with a unique group of people. This was only the start, but being a part of this meeting has opened my eyes to the true potential of this research initiative. I am extremely excited to see where it goes from here.

 

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

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6th International Conference on the Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation

By: William M. Adams, PhD, ATC, Vice President of Sport Safety

 

This past week (December 5-9th), I had the pleasure of representing KSI at the 6th International Conference on the Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation. This conference is a biannual conference held in different locations around the world that brings together the world’s leading thermal physiologists to present on topics from a basic (cellular and molecular) level of thermal physiology to clinical and applied applications of that research. This year’s conference was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the patron city of Saint George, which is located in the central part of Slovenia.

 

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The meeting started with an in depth discussion on the association of climate change on health. A European-based project, HEAT-SHIELD, was introduced to the audience which is a group tasked with developing guidelines and policies to handle heat stress from various aspects associated with climate change. The development of a well-rounded set of guidelines is needed to address this issue, especially as Europe is seeing the effects of increasing environmental conditions and a large migration of persons from other areas in the world, which when coupled together may cause downstream detrimental effects on health as a whole.

The conference continued with various symposiums, oral presentations and poster presentations on topics related to inflammation and the thermal response, fever, metabolic influences on thermal physiology, and the influence of exercise on thermal physiology. I had the pleasure of presenting some data that I collected examining the influence of hydration on body temperature and heart rate responses during repeated bouts of exercise in the heat. The talk was well received and it prompted some great discussion amongst other physiologists.

 

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It was great being able to meet new friends, connect with others and to discuss future collaborative work with some excellent researchers. The opportunity to attend this conference and to see the beautiful city of Ljubljana was an extremely rewarding experience and I would encourage anyone that does research in this area to attend the 2018 Conference in Split, Croatia.

 

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Marine Corps Marathon Weekend

By Gabrielle Giersch, MS, Assistant Director of Education, Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety

 

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KSI in the White House

 

Thursday October 27th through Sunday October 30th a group of KSI staff traveled to Washington D.C. to present at the American Medical Athletic Association’s 25th Annual Sports Medicine Symposium and worked in the medical tent at the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). While in D.C., the KSI staff got to explore the city, tour the White House, enjoy some of the museums on Constitution Avenue, visit Arlington National Cemetery and view the changing of the guards.

 

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Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers

 

We had a great showing at the American Medical Athletic Association 25th Annual Sports Medicine Symposium at the Marine Corps Marathon at Georgetown University Friday October 28th. Brendon McDermott Ph.D., ATC, alumnus of University Connecticut and also one of KSI’s medical and science advisory board member, and his colleague, Cory Butts M.S., traveled from University of Arkansas and presented Muscle Damage and Renal Function in Athletes with Physiological and Environmental Stress. From KSI, Luke Belval, M.S., ATC, CSCS, presented Changing Guidelines on Exertional Heat Stroke Care: Point of Care to Transport to the ER, and Douglas Casa Ph.D. presented Policy Changes Save Lives in all Levels of Sport: New Evidence and Successes. All three of these presentations helped to illustrate the important role of athletic trainers and medical staff at races, and show successes that KSI has had in treating exrtional heat strokes and changing policies to reduce the prevalence of sudden death in sport.

On Saturday, the staff had a “play day” in D.C. that consisted of visiting museums and playing Escape the Room D.C. Both KSI teams escaped (photo below) with the better team just beating the losing team by a few minutes!

 

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On Sunday the real fun began. The staff was up bright and early to make it to Aid Station #9 at mile marker 21 of the MCM! We evaluated and treated several athletes who were experiencing exercise associated muscle cramps and dehydration. Our Medical Advisor, Dr. John Jardine also played a critical role in treating exertional heat stroke patients.

 

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MCM KSI Medical Tent

 

The annual trip to D.C./MCM is a great way for the staff to learn, use their expertise, and bond.

New England ACSM Annual Meeting

By Rachel Katch, MS, ATC, Associate Director of Occupational and Military Safety

 

On October 13th & 14th, students and staff from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut (UConn) attended the annual New England American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM) conference in Providence, RI titled, “Advancing the Profession – One Step at a Time. Many members of KSI used this platform to present various topics of their interest. Yuri Hosokawa presented on LPS-induced TLR-4 activation during prolonged running and cycling events in hot and humid environments. Rachel Katch presented on the use of the heat stress score and how those can predict preparedness to run in an outdoor race. Gabe Giersch presented her master’s thesis from James Madison University which is titled, The Effect of the CYP1A2 -163 C>A Polymorphism on the Metabolism of Caffeine and Effect on Performance. Abigail Colburn presented her bachelor’s degree research about hydration knowledge and perception in DI NCAA male soccer athletes as well as the influence of water vessel on consumption and perception. Dr. Douglas Casa, Dr. Rebecca Stearns, and Dr. William Adams presented on policy change in sport, epidemiology of sudden death in sport, how policy changes can save lives and protect athletes, and how to initiate policy changes in secondary school athletics.

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At the NEACSM Expo, UConn’s Department of Kinesiology provided information regarding its new Exercise Prescription Online Graduate Certificate Program. This program is for individuals interested in transitioning into the field of Exercise Science, Sports Medicine, Kinesiology, Personal Training, Exercise Physiology, and Health and Fitness. Additionally, this program is targeted at individuals who are looking to enhance their current job credentials or earn degree advancement. This is a 9-credit, three course online graduate certificate that can help advance knowledge base in a very dynamic field, preparing individuals to take their career to the next level.

 

At the completion of this online certificate program, students will:

  • Learn about the nuances of administering exercise stress tests in healthy and unhealthy populations.
  • Become proficient in evaluating a person’s overall health prior to beginning of an exercise program and throughout program maintenance.
  • Understand how to incorporate aerobic, resistance, concurrent, neuromotor and flexibility exercise appropriately into exercise plans.
  • Learn about the underlying processes involved with chronic diseases or special health conditions.
  • Become adept at using the F.I.T.T. (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type) principle of exercise prescription to prevent, treat, and manage these conditions.
  • Learn how to develop individualized exercise prescriptions to increase and promote physical activity, fitness, strength, endurance, and flexibility to optimize health and meet athletic performance goals.
  • Learn how to use behavioral strategies to increase adherence with exercise plans.
  • Become adept at recognizing common medication classes likely to be encountered by health/fitness professionals, and how they may influence the exercise responses.

 

The application deadline for the Spring 2017 semester is December 2nd, 2016. More information and applications can be found online at http://exerciseprescription.uconn.edu.

NFL AT Pilot Grant Program

By Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, Director of Communication, Director of Education

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Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut is proud to announce our role in the NFL Athletic Trainer Grant Pilot Program, which is open for applications from October 19, 2016 through December 16, 2016.

 

As part of the Play Smart. Play Safe. campaign the NFL pledged on September 14, 2016, the NFL is heading up a pilot grant program in four states – Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon.  Up to 150 public high schools across the four pilot states will be awarded a $35,000 grant over the course of a 3-year period to assist with securing athletic trainer (AT) services.

 

School administrators, or their designee, may apply if their school meets the following criteria:

  • A public high school with an interscholastic football program in Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma or Oregon.
  • Minimal or no current athletic training program. Minimal is defined as care provided by an athletic trainer only for football games or competitions played at home.

 

As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in his letter, “… we know that having an athletic trainer on the sidelines at a high school game can be pivotal for how health and safety issues are handled. But many of our nation’s schools lack the resources to pay for one. Accordingly, we plan to expand the size of our athletic trainer program, funding additional athletic trainers for high schools that need them. Our long-term goal is to raise awareness about the important role athletic trainers can play in high school athletics.”

 

KSI will lead the administration of the NFL Athletic Trainer Pilot Grant Program as well as conduct research on the program’s impact, specifically the impact of athletic trainers on student athlete health outcomes. We hope that by bringing our expertise to this program, we can assist not only the schools who may hire ATs for the first time in their school history, but also to serve as the support system for the ATs who are accepting jobs in these schools in order to develop successful and sustainable athletic training programs across the nation.

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To find out more about the pilot grant program, visit: www.athletictrainergrant.com.

#AT4ALL

Be Aware of Heat Stress

By Yuri Hosokawa, MAT, ATC, Director of Communication, Director of Education  

Here in New England, we are starting to see the hint of fall foliage. Fall sports are in the midst of competition and athletes are not afraid to show all the hard work they have put it in throughout the summer months. The weather has cooled down considerably around Storrs, CT during the course of the last few weeks. For example, the forecast for the next few days looks like this in our region.

storrs

Source: weatherwunderground.com Forecast for Storrs, CT. Accessed 10/02/2016.

During pre-season football, we had several days where the ambient temperature was greater than 90-degrees Fahrenheit. I know, I can hear the mind of fellow ATs from the southern states, “we still have days exceeding 90-degrees Fahrenheit and it’s October!

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Source: weatherwunderground.com Forecast for Tampa, FL. Accessed 10/02/2016.

In 2015, Dr. Andrew Grundstein, a professor from the University of Georgia, published a paper that captures this regional differences and proposed activity guideline that takes account of the local climate. In this model, Storrs, CT is classified in Category I, which has the lower threshold to begin activity modification & event cancellation. Tampa, FL is classified in Category III, whose activity guideline closely follow the one developed by the Georgia High School Association that developed the activity guideline based on the heat related injury epidemiology data collected in Georgia.

This regional variance is expected for obvious geographical differences. Therefore, it only makes sense to know and adjust the thermal strain by what’s expected in the region. In other words, what may not be considered a “cancellation level” in the southern states may still be oppressive enough to cancel activities in the northern states, and vice versa.      

Some of you may be wondering, “it is well past beyond pre-season practices and the likelihood of experiencing oppressive heat stress is minimal.” You may be right in that it is less likely. But suppose we experience one day with temperatures exceeding 80-degrees Fahrenheit and »60% humidity in Storrs, CT. This could potentially push the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) to rise over 82-degrees Fahrenheit, which warrants considerable activity modification (i.e., maximum practice time 2 hours with increased frequency of rest breaks) in Category I but not necessary in Category III.

(Note: WBGT values should not be used interchangeably with Heat Index or air temperature. View a video from here to learn how these measures are different.)

A well-known example of unexpected weather during the fall is the 2007 Chicago Marathon, where the race organizers made an executive decision to shut down the race after 3.5 hours due to inclement heat (ambient temperature at 88-degrees Fahrenheit).

The 2016 Chicago Marathon is scheduled in less than a week, and as of now, the weather will likely to be cooperating with the runners.

chicago

Source: weatherwunderground.com Forecast for Tampa, FL. Accessed 10/02/2016.

Now, imagine recording highs of 88-degrees Fahrenheit in Chicago, IL (more than 20-degrees higher than what is forecasted for this year’s race), which is a Category II in the 2015 paper. Although there is a limitation in estimating race day WBGT from just the air temperature, it is apparent that recording near 90-degrees Fahrenheit for air temperature, especially around this time of the year for Chicago, is beyond their regional norm. Needless to say, it would affect not only the local runners but other runners who are traveling from all over the world who did not expect the race day to be this oppressive.

kestrel

At the end of the day, environmental monitoring is only one of the many tools we have to ensure safety of athletes. Monitoring the wet bulb globe temperature by itself will not protect the athletes per se, but it will give you valuable information for making a better clinical judgment in deciding to modify activity. A great thing about weather conditions is that, at most times, the weather forecast will allow you to make appropriate actions and intervene proactively to remove potential hazards (i.e., moving the event time and/or date, modifying practice intensity and/or duration).

 

#KnowYourCondition