Archive for August, 2009

“Suck it up” Bad & Dangerous Advice

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

“Suck it Up” is Bad and Dangerous

The traditional coaching axiom after what seems to be a minor injury is not only stupid, it is now being seen by experts as dangerous. We are heading into what some experts consider the ‘head trauma season’ in sports. Coaches, trainers, parents, it is wise to be prepared.

If a player receives an injury, even a minor one, what many coaches call a “dinger” or when the player sees stars or is briefly disorientated, they need to sit. These are mild concussions and not sitting can be dangerous. Last year the New York Times did a series of 15 articles on the results of repeated concussions in players from youth through pros. They found that the long term consequences of repeat concussions were: persistent headaches, fatigue, difficulty paying attention (ADD-like symptoms), memory problems, mood swings and personality changes. In a few cases even death resulted.

Don’t take even ‘minor’ hits lightly. “When in doubt, sit them out.” That is the strong advice of Dr. Robert C. Cantu, one of the leading experts on concussions. (As quoted in the New York Times Aug. 25, 2009) Dr. Cantu is a co-author of the National Athletic Trainers Association position paper on sports-related concussions.

These ‘dings’ to the head do not only come from sports. Parents know that young children bang their heads frequently as they learn how to navigate their world. Take the same advice, make them rest and not exert themselves after a hit to the head, even minor.

Dr. John E. Mayer, President-ISPA

Position Opening-ISPA

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Position Opening:

Title: Recruitment Director- International

Description:

The International Sports Professionals Association-ISPA, has an opening for an individual to solicit professionals in the following categories: Psychologists, Physicians, Social Workers, Counselors, Pastoral Ministers, Ministers, Chiropractors, Nutritionists, Physical Therapists, Coaches, trainers, school counselors, and students in all these areas; to apply to become credentialed through our organization so that they can enhance their careers in serving the field of sports in many aspects or to start a career in sports. The professionals in ISPA serve sports at all levels.

In these trying economic times the field of sports along with the entertainment field have maintained its viability. There is no better time to encourage professionals to look into new revenue streams and professional opportunities.

The model this position is based on is the independent sales representative model that is traditional in many industries.

Qualifications:

  • The individual should be capable of working independently with accountability to the main office.
  • Ideally, the individual should have strong background in sports and possibly contacts in the sports world.
  • The candidate should be self-motivated.
  • The candidate should adhere to the highest standards of professionalism in their professional demeanor, appearance and communication skills.
  • The candidate should have excellent writing skills, computer and Internet skills, and be experienced in Internet sales techniques.

Compensation:

Negotiable commission commensurate upon experience and skills.

Contact:

Dr. John E. Mayer, President

ISPA

Email inquires only. Submit resume and letter of interest and qualifications.

~Position Open Immediately~

The Success of Pro Sports

Friday, August 21st, 2009

It is astounding that pro team owners focus their energy on the raw materials (players) in their businesses and not on what obtained the lofty status of pro sports in the US, that is marketing, sales and branding of sport. They treat this raw material as if it is a precious commodity, when in reality it is not. There is plenty of raw material available. Pro sports in the United States didn’t get to be such a lucrative industry because of the raw materials, the players, it got to be lucrative because of how it was brilliantly sold to the American Public.

We would have less problem with the thug mentality in pro sports, cheating in pro sports, scandals, doping, etc. If the focus was put back on what made pro sports successful in the first place. It wasn’t the raw materials it was the SELL.

Dr. John Mayer, President

Thuggery in the NFL

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Plaxico Burress accepted a plea deal that will place him in jail for two years for carrying an illegal weapon into a night club and then accidentally shooting himself. Many sports analysts seemed more interested in when Mr. Burress would be back to play football than discussing the ramifications of Mr. Burress’ actions. It seems that much thuggery has surrounded the NFL as of late and many analysts are focused more on how much football these individuals will miss and not on opening a dialogue on how these activities can be prevented. Playing football in the NFL is a privilege, one that for many is a highly compensated privilege. Because playing football in the NFL is a privilege it can and in some cases should be taken away permanently when deemed necessary. Sports analysts should be focusing on why players such as Plaxico Burress should be allowed to play again and not when can they can play. There needs to be more dialogue on how we can prevent these thuggish actions. Furthermore, commissioner Goodell needs to have zero tolerance when individuals do not uphold the standards of conduct set forth by the NFL and society.

Young Athletes and Rest

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

This is an article I wrote for our ISPA newsletter, please review it and remember as soccer and football camps open up here in the next weeks that athletes need recovery (rest) time. More injuries occur because the young body is over taxed than any other cause.

Recovery Time

Recovery time between intervals during workouts is often a neglected part of training. We would encourage you to pass this information along to the athletes and programs you are working with as professionals. Optimizing recovery time can enhance performance greatly.

High intensity performance/workout – long recovery Workouts or performances that only last 20 to 30 seconds are typically at a person’s maximum exertion. To get the most out of your performance, you have to be able to produce maximum power, which means the recovery period between efforts has to be long enough to allow your muscles to fully recharge. Such short and intense workouts call upon the body’s ATP-CP system, its immediate energy system. In such high intensity exertion you burn through your available immediate energy supply within seconds. To recharge that energy source you need 5-8 minutes of recovery time. Encourage easy walking/jogging/ coasting on the bike, gently floating in the water, etc. to recover.

High intensity performance/workout – equal recovery We’re talking here about all-out workouts/performances that last longer than sprints, like speed work and VO max intervals. If this is a workout, the purpose is to adapt to repeated maximal efforts. For this training to be effective, you don’t want to have complete recovery of the immediate energy system (see above) before the athlete performs/works out again. To do this keep the recovery times the same as the interval time. So, if we are talking about 30 seconds to 4-minute performance/workout interval add more intervals or an additional set rather than make each effort longer.

Longer workouts – shorter recovery If your workouts are designed to improve your maximum sustainable pace then your intervals should be 10-30 minutes long, maybe longer. The intensity for these intervals should be near and a little below your lactate threshold (the maximum sustainable intensity you can hold over 8 or more minutes). The idea behind this type of work is to accumulate as much time possible at this workload to push your body to adapt. These workouts help to run a faster marathon or ride a faster century. Good recovery time between efforts – typically 50-75% of the duration of the work period (8-minute effort/6 minutes recovery, 12-minute effort/8 minutes recovery, 20-minute effort, 10 minutes recovery)- allows you to maintain the right intensity/pace in your second, third, and maybe even fourth interval. A common mistake we see is that athletes often shorten their recovery periods during these workouts because they feel rested well before the next interval is supposed to start. What results is that you will fatigue in the middle of your third or fourth interval and have to spend more time overall resting from the entire workout.

Max Workouts/performances – no recovery Runs, rides, swims at a steady aerobic pace. These are very long—20 minutes on up to an hour or more. These efforts are sometimes split into two or even three intervals, you may stop or slow down during this extended effort, but a true recovery period is not necessary between those efforts. Your recovery period starts when you finish your workout or performance. These workouts build overall endurance.

We talked about this recovery in the context of running, biking, and swimming, but coaches, be mindful of these needs for team sports as well. Another common practice we see is coaches, especially at the younger levels not giving athletes time to recover during team practices, football summer drills, etc.

Dr. John Mayer, President, ISPA

Young Athletes& Social Skills

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

By now, you’ve heard the news of the altercation between the NHL star, Patrick Kane, and a cab driver in Buffalo, NY. Our comments here won’t be to take sides and jump into the latest media circus, rather to emphasize the need for young star athletes to be educated in the ways of the world. This is not exclusively the need of professional athletes. Athletes, star athletes, at all levels are so often ‘taken out of society’ by coaches, parents, school officials, handlers and so forth. When this is done, basic social skills are lost. So many of the professionals who are credentialed by ISPA work with athletes call for this need. And, so many of our credentialed professionals can provide this type of life-coaching. I myself, years ago wrote a book titled, You’re Not the Only One on This Planet about the lost art of civility among us.

Idea, new professional contracts could set aside 1/2% for social training. That would be more than enough fees for one of our professionals to offer mentoring on social skills.

Dr. John Mayer

President-ISPA

The 2003 MLB Steroid List

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

The now infamous 2003 steroid list is doing more harm then good by being kept under “lock and key”. It is embarrassing how names keep leaking from this list one by one. The list is simply providing tabloid fodder and is doing nothing to advance the cause of eradicating performance enhancing drugs from baseball. The list should either be released or destroyed. It is time to move on and start building a stronger foundation that will prevent steroid use and educate athletes not to use substances that are both detrimental to their health and promote dangerous behaviors to young people.