Prioritizing Recovery

October 16, 2018

When your athletes go home after a tough week of practices and contests, you’re probably hoping they’ll do several things to help their bodies recover—hydrate, eat right, get enough sleep, maybe even stretch. Now, high school athletes near Buffalo, N.Y., have a new option for making sure they get those things done: a Saturday morning recovery workshop.

According to The Buffalo News, Excelsior Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is inviting high school student-athletes from all sports to come to its gym at 10 a.m. on Saturdays to focus on recovering from the week’s work.

James Starkey, MS, ATC, CSCS, the Excelsior Sports Training Coordinator who runs the free workshops, stresses that the sessions are not about adding more work to the athlete’s week.

“We’re not going to have them jumping and sprinting, changing direction and doing agility work,” he said. “This is more what you do after you’ve done that stuff. How much sleep should I get? What should I eat? When should I eat it? How do I use a foam roller? How do I do stretches, and which are the most common to do for which joints? How do I warm up properly?”

Hurdle mobility and floor-based mobility exercises are included. Also provided is instruction on warming up, cooling down, recovery nutrition, and meal timing—all packed into a one-hour session.

Starkey, who has worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and currently serves as the Head Athletic Trainer for Team USA Indoor Lacrosse, believes that helping athletes recover properly will reduce their risk of injury, but he stays away from the term “injury prevention.”

“We don’t call it injury prevention, because at the end of the day, you can’t prevent everything,” he said.

This fall, Starkey expects to see mostly football and hockey players coming through the door on Saturday mornings. But he believes athletes across all sports can benefit, and he is open to adding middle school athletes and even parents.

“If we start to generate interest from our adult athletes, weekend warriors, even athletes in middle school, we’ll adjust the workshops accordingly,” he said.

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