My Trip Treating Dew Tour’s Athletes…
I just got done flying out to Breckenridge, Colorado to treat the Mountain Dew Tour’s athletes. This event was awesome for many reasons. One, it was an olympic qualifying event for the winter olympics in February. Two, it was packed with elite level athletes.
Extreme sports go unnoticed in many cases in the US because they are not as popular as basketball, football, or baseball. However…. these are some phenomenal athletes. Their demands are entirely different that most other sports . You want to talk about the need for assessing these athletes in all planes of motion….
The Most Common Injury At Dew Tour…
Besides trauma and concussions, the most common injury at the Dew Tour was ACL tears and knee strains. Why do you think that is? The reasons are many but….
The main reason is because they are “strapped in”. This means their ankles and foot mobility is limited or restricted. The end result being increased torque on the joint above…. the knee.
Whether the athlete lands funky, goes over unexpected terrain, or has to make a sharp change in direction, the knee has to take more stress.
Why Didn’t I Work On Their Ankle & Foot Mobility….
It’s easy to get biased when treating these athletes that you should have worked on their ankle and foot mobility. Wrong.
They don’t have access to their ankle mobility (boots restrict them) so even if you did increase their ankle mobility, they would never be able to use it.
This is just one of many reasons why some movement assessment systems are incorrect in the context of the sport. The majority of these athletes would have failed a deep squat or anterior chain in the FMS or 3DMAPS respectively.
Speaking of the ACL, if you want to learn how to assess it, it’s function, and the best tests to discern a tear you can go to my previous post here.
[headline style=”1″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]Here is What You Need To Do With These Athletes…
Rather than deliberately trying to increase mobility at these athletes ankles and feet, we need to increase the strength of the athletes ligaments and muscles in addition to improving mobility at the hip joints.
If the hip is more mobile it may reduce some of the torque on the knee. Likewise, exposing the athlete to these forces in the gym may also help these athletes. However, it is quite complex when you consider that you can’t replicate skiing or snow boarding.
Performing different plyometrics, squats, and lunges with different drivers is essential. This gives them movement variability in case they are exposed to these stresses in their sport.
Although all of these injuries can’t be prevented, this is a great start.
[headline style=”1″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]Challenges For the Dew Tour Athletes…
Being a professional athlete is easy, right? Think again.
Sure, if you’re working in the NFL, MLB, or NBA that may be the case. Or…. If you are the top 1% of your sport and have amazing sponsorships.
The problem with the winter athlete is that they are not exposed to high quality care or training in many cases. They are usually working another job in addition to training. Not to mention, not having team doctors, physio, or a performance team is rare.
Needless to say, this makes it hard on these athletes. They are litterally on their own.
This was one of the many reasons why I enjoyed helping these athletes. They were eager to learn and get better. Plus, offering them just a little bit of extra help with what they should and shouldn’t be doing goes a long way.
[headline style=”1″ align=”center” headline_tag=”h2″]Concluding Thoughts On Dew Tour 2017
Treating the winter athlete such as snowboarders and skiers was an awesome experience. I learned a ton about these athletes personally and professionally.
If you can understand the forces and demands of your athletes it becomes pretty easy to treat them.
To learn more about the Dew Tour and its’s athletes you can click here.