Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Extra Discretionary Effort

In my match at the pitch today in front of thre Washington Monument I had a realization. We play White Jersey's versus Dark Jersey. The White Jersey team consists of the lower skill level player but the team that hustles more. I probably epitomize that giving it all you got as much as anyone out there but I also figured out that you have to stay disciplined about the timing of that discretionary effort. You can't go all out at once and burn out. You have to be disciplined( i.e. not chasing the ball, playing your position) about maintaining focus and continuing to put the gas pedal down to succeed. In the end it might be that extra five percent of discretionary effort that decides the outcome of the match or applied to a larger context your health and your life.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Could Modern Laser Medicine Prevent Jozy's Hamstring Injury?

It's widely accepted that dehydration is the number one source of muscle cramping but what about Jozy Altidore's hamstring strain in las weekend US - Ghana game. According to Brazilian Doctor Ernesto Leal Jr. low level laser therapy decreases muscular fatigue. He measured CK and C-reactive protein levels which were lower after laser therapy administered to volley ball players preemptively than those that did not get the laser pulses. These are markers for muscle breakdown in the blood. Peak performance load was also increased. The study was relatively small but did suggest some benefit. Currently the Brazilian soccer team uses laser therapy as part of their injury recovery regimen but US Soccer preferred to stick to what they have been doing. I would not say that laser would have stopped the Altidore's hamstring strain- the field conditions were very humid. It may hsve decreased the damage and quite possibly may add something more than the conventional e-stim and ice to the recovery. sometimes cutting edge treatment can does just that- it gives you an edgd and that can be the difference in world competition.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Recovering Outside the Box

Injuries are not fun . In order to keep fit you can do other activities while you recover. I recently hurt my achilles tendon playing soccer and have been swimming, doing yoga and using a speed bag to get some cardio. I try to swim underwater the length of a pool as another means to help keep up my cardio that is less taxing on my body than sprinting injury or no injury. Usually, unless you are spinning hard or doing lots of hills biking is ok with an achilles tendon injury. People underestimate how helpful your core can be in helping to recover from injury. Because we function as a unit in sports a strong core can help prevent slumping while running or worse not sustaining a twisting motion and having the force create an unstable moment in the back, knee or ankle. Part of sustaining training is keeping it interesting and this applies to recovering as well. Gary Hall Jr. used to go spear fishing to break up the monotony of pool laps. Coaches are always trying to think up creative games durin practice and you can apply the same philosophy to recovery.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Putting on Your Own Oxygen Mask First When Facing Injury

We all face daily decisions of taking care of yourself versus doing other things vying for our attention. When recovering from injury you have to put the necessary time in. I am nursing an achilles strain and I went to yoga this morning versus continuing to play soccer through a persistent injury. Part of the key to getting better is the recognition that "playing through" an injury is going to prolong the healing in most cases. You have to tell yourself the charge you get from competition is muted to begin with because you are playing guarded when you are hurt. It is tempting to think that you can play and rehab but unless you have youth,genetics and luck on your side it is not sustainable. I got injured in part because I had not went to my usual twice a week yoga regimen with consistency, In fact for my almost half century old body I need to commit to yoga a minimum of every other day, The structure and pacing of a class in more valuable than doing it on your own but there is nothing wrong with supplementing your classes with 20 minutes on your own when time does not permit. It is also helpful to cross-train with other activities such as swimming or weights when recovering from overuse injuries in the lower extremity.