Friday, April 18, 2008

Skate-ing Away

Quick - Name the only person to be in the UNC Men's Basketball Team picture for 3 National Championship teams (1982, 1993 and 2005).

Give up?
It's Mark Davis, the team's Head Athletic Trainer for the past 31 years. Nicknamed "Skate" by former Tar Heel player Jimmy Black, Mr Davis recently announced his retirement.
While the team is still in the good hands of Dr Timothy Taft (team physician) and Jonas Sahratian (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Carolina Basketball will be hard pressed to find someone to fill Mr Davis' chair (and sweater vest) at the end of the team bench.
It's true that coaches and players get most of the attention, but athletic trainers are an equally important part of any good basketball team, especially those college and professional programs that have to make it through a long, grueling, and physical season of practices and competitions. Athletic trainers are often the hands-on providers in the management, prevention, recognition and rehabilitation of injured athletes.
Long hours, working with athletes in pain, and miles (and miles) of tape are all part of an athletic trainer's life. But so is helping players get back in the game and being a central part of any succesful team.
If your own NBA dream doesn't pan out, you might find your professional calling as an athletic trainer.
It may even help you make it to the NBA (or, in Mr Davis' case, to multiple Final Fours and Championship rings).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Enhanced Water = Enhanced Calories

With all the recent advertising for "Enhanced Water" ( water products with added flavor, color, vitamins and/or minerals) I just wanted to make sure that you know what you're buying/using.

In previous posts, I've written about the importance of drinking enough liquids to keep yourself properly hydrated before, during and after practices and games.

Research shows that, for people who work out less than an hour, drinking PLAIN WATER is all you need to do.

Enhanced waters might be used for people who just don't drink enough and would drink more of a liquid with some flavor (although in this case, you could also get some flavor by adding a little bit of juice to PLAIN WATER).

If you need to add weight, enhanced waters will give you added calories that PLAIN WATER will not.

Enhanced waters also provide between 10-100% of the daily recommended intake of some vitamins. But that shouldn't be the only reason you drink them. While drinking enhanced water can help you meet your fluid needs, I'd rather see people getting their vitamins and minerals through eating healthy foods.

And if you're looking to lose weight, remember that enhanced water = enhanced calories
The 32 ouncer that Shaq pushes (above) contains 200 calories
32 ounces of PLAIN WATER? = NO Calories.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Basketball Medicine - Eastern Style

No, not the Eastern Conference.

Eastern (in this case, Chinese) Medicine.

An article in today's Shanghai Daily , reports that Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets (and, hopefully, the Chinese Olympic team) will be returning to China for a 10-day course of herbal remedies and other Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment.

Yao and the Chinese team hope this will reduce swelling and speed the healing of his left foot stress fracture for which he underwent surgery early last month.

While I wouldn't recommend this treatment for everybody, there are a couple of important points in this story.

1) It's important to investigate the use of different approaches to care to help recover from an injury. No one approach is best for everyone.

2) In a related article, it was reported that doctors in both Chinese medicine and his NBA team doctors have discussed and agreed to this treatment - If you're going to go to multiple providers to try different approaches, try to keep all the providers in the loop.
I hope that this combination of Eastern and Western medicine helps him recover and compete well in the upcoming Olympic Games.