Saturday, June 30, 2012

Iowa still learning from football team's rhabdo incident

Simple phrases and tough talk do not replace smart work! 

Still learning? I guess learning is an ongoing process which never stops, but what is the mystery about what happened? A bonehead football-centric "strength and conditioning coach" fell into the trap of hard work vs. smart work and crossed over the line of common sense. Anyone can design a program that will inflict pain and injury. It takes a real coach to maximize an athlete's potential. Smart work will be hard and challenging enough, without devising crazy challenges purely for the sake of testing an athlete's pain tolerance. The NSCA and NATA have both come out against the type of workout that was administered. There is no one with any credibility who has come out in defense of this protocal as appropriate for football.  Go ahead Iowa, continue to "investigate" and get all of the information, but it's pretty obvious what happened.
After 13 football players were hospitalized in January of 2011, the University of Iowa launched an investigation to determine the common cause of each athlete's injury and subsequently changed procedures to prevent future incident.
All 13 were diagnosed with rhabdomyolyis, a stress-induced muscle syndrome that can damage cells and cause kidney problems, after an off-season workout in January. They were all released from the hospital later that month.
According to Terry Noonan, Iowa's Director of Athletics Training Services, the investigation revealed that the common denominator in each hospitalization was the time off before the intense January workout.
"That was the only thing we came up with," Noonan said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.
The incident stirred up controversy and criticism of the football program for putting the athletes at risk. Dr. Douglas Casa, Chief Operating Officer at the Kory Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut, said in an interview earlier this month that Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle should have lost his job after the incident.
"That strength and conditioning coach should have been fired and the university really embarrassed itself," Casa said. "Those injuries were 100% preventable. There needs to be more oversight and people need to be more accountable."
But the investigation did not lead to the ouster of Doyle or any other Iowa employee.
"It's easy for people like Dr. Casa to make a statement without knowing all the information about what happened," said Noonan, the only athletics department official made available by the school. "I understand his passion. I don't know if I agree with it.
"For someone to make a statement for someone to be terminated is like saying that we need to stop playing football because there are too many concussions or saying we need to stop driving cars because there are too many accidents."
Casa and the National Athletic Trainers' Association on Wednesday announced suggestions for preventing sudden death in collegiate conditioning. Casa said incidents like the 13 hospitalized players caused him and his peers to analyze best-practice methods.
"Someone has to advocate for the athletes because it's not going to be the football coach," Casa said. "This incident strikes a chord because our focus is health and safety above all else."
The announcement stressed the importance of communication between athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches and also suggested that all workouts designed by strength and conditioning coaches be approved by athletic trainers.
Since the hospitalization incident, Noonan said that change has already been implemented at Iowa.
"We communicate and review the workouts before they happen," Noonan said. "The biggest prevention here is now we communicate beforehand."
The NATA statement also said that cases of rhabdomyolyis, or "rhabdo," are increasing: "Excesses in strength training and conditioning — workouts that are too novel, too much, too soon, or too intense (or a combination of these) — have a strong connection to exertional rhabdomyolysis."
According to NCAA Director of Health and Safety Dave Klossner, the NCAA will soon be releasing new guidelines on rhabdo.
"There's some talk about whether (rhabdo) is a growing trend, but there's confusion about what it actually is," Klossner said. "We want to identify the best practices…and how it can be prevented."
The rhabdo incident created confusion among Iowa's athletic trainers and medical staff, Noonan said, and university officials are now trying to learn more about it.
"We're doing more research to learn about that condition because we're realizing that there was a lot we didn't know," Noonan said.
Liz Martin, AP

Smart work is hard enough!

1 comment:

  1. Simple logic.

    All squares are rectangles
    But not all rectangles are squares

    All good hard work is painful
    But not all pain is good hard work