On Thursday, Oct. 6 – a delegation of sports experts presented to members of the community including members of Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey and Sylvan Lake Minor Football methods on how to properly train, fuel and protect athletes from injury.
Hosted by 360 Fitness and Bond Nutrition at H.J. Cody School, the evening’s main focuses were proper sports training by 360 Fitness trainer Dave Barth, creating nutrition plans and supplementing properly by Jonathan McLernon and proper concussion protocol by Neurologist Dr. Norman Hoffman.
Barth started off the evening by stating it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient at anything. Barth would go on to discuss specialization in sport and promoted the importance of cross-training and playing different sports by saying they want you to have other sports.
”We want you to try other things,” said Barth.
Barth also discussed the importance of training, over lifting for competitive athletes, saying that proper training can protect against injury and improve skills more effectively. He stressed that while some athletes are born with superior athletic gifts, any athlete can be just as good with a little training.
McLernon followed up with his presentation on proper nutrition and supplement use. He stressed how professional athlete endorsements should be taken with a grain of salt and if you want to be an elite athlete, you have to fuel yourself like an elite athlete.
One of McLernon’s main points touched on energy drink consumption in athletes under 18. Explaining the use of energy drinks in underage individuals can cause a range of issues, adding rest and sleep are the foundations of your health.
Dr. Hoffman followed up with his keynote speech of the evening. Hoffman is one of North America’s leading neurologists and has worked with elite athletes throughout the continent on how to properly diagnose, treat and live with concussion related injuries.
Hoffman wanted everyone present to recognize every player who has signs of a concussion, understand when treatment is appropriate and necessary as well as recognize a medical emergency and take appropriate action.
He stressed that symptoms of concussion could include any of the following: balance problems, confusion, delayed response to questions, dizziness or ‘seeing stars’, extreme fatigue, headache, behavioural changes, inability to read, nausea, vomiting, pressure in the head, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, mood swings or sleep problems.
If it’s a grade 1 concussion, protocol suggests an athlete can return to the game if symptoms do not persist after 15 minutes, however, Dr. Hoffman significantly disagrees with this protocol and that any concussion symptom should mean an athlete can’t be cleared to play until a doctor – preferably a neurologist – has done so.
He left the audience by stating that anyone interesting in sport should go into a neurologist and have their child take a baseline test so that concussions can be easily diagnosed.