About NCSA – The largest and most successful athletic recruiting network

Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph and Steve Kashul talk with Debbie Garr, mother of NCSA student-athlete Erin Garr about the Garr family experience working with NSCA since January 2018 to help direct Erin’s athletic future.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, NCSA is now the world’s largest and most successful college athletic recruiting network. With a network of 35,000 college coaches and more than 700 employees, NCSA assists student-athletes in 34 sports find their best path to college.

Bringing Process, Technology, and Passion to Recruiting

In 2000, NCSA became the first company to challenge the status quo and bring digital technology to the antiquated, paper-based recruiting world. The innovation did not stop there. A year before the creation of YouTube, NCSA was the first to offer online highlight video access to college coaches. New technology and data also helped create a recruit match system that helps athletes determine their best college options.

One of NCSA’s strengths has always been its strong relationship with the college coach community. It’s a level of trust that has been built over time and maintained with performance. Today, there are more than 35,000 college coaches in our network. But what really drives success for NCSA and its clients is the passionate team of former college coaches and athletes who use their firsthand knowledge and expertise to help athletes at every step in the recruiting process.Home

Since 2000, more than 100,000 NCSA clients have reported their commitment to a college team.

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

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Nutrition Tips for the Teenage Athlete

nutrition for student athletes

By Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP for Athletico Physical Therapy

During the school year it is common for teenage athletes to find their schedules jammed packed with class, homework, practice and competition. When students are this busy, eating can be overlooked. Sometimes meals are skipped or home-cooked meals are substituted for fast food while running from one practice to another. Proper nutrition is important as the food we eat becomes the fuel for our bodies.

Athletes have unique needs compared to their less active peers. Athletes need more calories each day for proper performance and teenage athletes also need to meet their body’s growing requirements. Teenage athletes may need 2,000-5,000 total calories per day depending on how active they are. A well balanced diet of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, as well as proper hydration, will ensure a teenage athlete will meet their body’s energy demands.

What Can Happen if Athletes Don’t Have Proper Nutrition?

  • Less likely to achieve peak performance
  • May breakdown rather than build up muscles
  • May not be as fast or strong
  • May not maintain their weight
  • In extreme conditions, athletes can be at increased risk for fractures or growth problems

Healthy Eating Tips for Teen Athletes:

  1. Eat a meal with protein and carbohydrates 2-4 hours before practice or competition.
    -Examples: turkey or chicken sandwich, milk and cereal, pasta with tomato sauce
  2. If you don’t have time for a full meal, eat a snack if less than 2 hours before your practice or competition.
    – Examples: melons, cherries, low fat yogurt, bagel, carrots, crackers
  3. Consider not eating anything 1 hour before practice as digestion takes energy and leaving food in your stomach can make you feel bloated or cause abdominal cramping
  4. Sugary snacks and drinks can give you a quick burst of energy but also lead to a “crash” before the end of practice.
    – Sugary snacks and drinks also do not provide proper nutrients
  5. Your body needs fats for energy and to function properly. However, since fats can also slow down digestion, it is best to avoid a high fat meal too close to practice or competition.
  6. Although fast food is easy to grab and go, it has a lot of excess “empty” calories that don’t necessarily provide proper nutrition.
    – There are ways to make fast food a “better” option, such as grilled chicken, eliminating the bun, and being careful of extra add-on items like cheese, bacon, etc.
  7. Water is important to stay hydrated, including replacing what is lost as we perspire during exercise.
    – Athletes benefit from drinking water before, after and during practice (every 15-20 minutes during practice)
  8. Sports drinks can be beneficial when exercising for more than 60-90 minutes in hot weather.
  9. Avoid energy drinks before exercise. They contain caffeine, a diuretic, which can contribute to dehydration.

If you would like to learn more from an Athletico physical therapist, please use the button below to request an appointment!


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Lake Zurich’s Panico produces the ultimate football comeback

Vinnie Panico's amazing recovery from serious injury has him ready to go for Lake Zurich's Friday season opener against Fremd.

The hosts of Sports Medicine Weekly discuss the comeback and remarkable medical transformation of Vinnie Panico, a senior at Lake Zurich and voted Wintrust player of the week.

Four weeks into the 2017 season, in a game against visiting Zion-Benton, on the 12th play from scrimmage, Panico, a junior defensive end for Lake Zurich, hurt his knee. He was chasing down the quarterback and a teammate fell on him from behind and Panico’s left knee violently went in a direction it shouldn’t have. He knew right away that something was terribly wrong.

Doctors feared blood clots, and also that the artery behind his knee could have been severed. A typical knee injury doesn’t produce the kind of swelling that Panico was experiencing. As he was being examined and options were being discussed, Panico was told that he probably wouldn’t play football again. Worst-case scenario, he was in danger of not walking again and possibly losing his leg altogether. Yes, losing it.

Doctors kept Panico in an MRI for two hours as they desperately tried to identify the source of the swelling. The good news after those two hours was that the artery wasn’t severed. The bad news was that Pancio’s knee and the area around it was essentially obilterated.

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the menicus were all completely torn. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was partially torn. The tibia was fractured and the top of the quad muscle was also torn. The inordinate amount of swelling was due to the comprehensiveness of Panico’s injury. Pretty much everything in his knee was compromised and his body was in all-out panic mode… Complete article from The Daily Harold.

Sports Medicine Weekly on 670 The Score

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An Athletic Trainer’s Role in Helping Prevent, Assess and Care for a Concussed Athlete

An Athletic Trainer’s Role in Helping Prevent, Assess and Care for a Concussed Athlete

By ATI Physical Therapy

The role a certified athletic trainer (ATC) plays in preventing, assessing and caring for a concussed athlete is critical to an athlete’s return to play and overall health. The ATC is often the first line of defense in injury prevention, which is why it is essential they be on the field, court or arena where injuries may occur.

As injury cases such as concussions, continue to evolve, keeping up with these progressions requires a careful adaption in the injury assessment treatment methods. To that, ATI Physical Therapy ATCs put a great deal of effort in staying up on monitoring symptoms along with implementing return-to-learn and return-to-play protocols.

As far as preparation, ATI’s Sports Medicine division is pivotal in ensuring all ATCs are prepared to assess concussions by requiring them to undergo very specific and rigorous training programs that educate the team on current protocols prior to each sport’s season.

Concussion prevention

In an effort to thwart off a concussion, an ATC will continually work with their athletes to provide effective guidance and education on techniques that help with avoiding concussion-enabling situations. In doing this, an ATC will often follow these protocols:

  • Ensure: Ensure that the players’ equipment is properly fitted and the playing environment is safe to participate.
  • Educate: Educate coaches, parents and players before the start of the season about the inherent risks of a concussion and the proper protocol if a suspected head injury has occurred.
  • Assist: Assist with strengthening programs that increase neck stability, which can decrease the frequency of concussions.

Assessing concussions

In recent years, return-to-play success rates have steadily enjoyed a healthy uptick. With much help from researchers such as Dr. Ellen Shanley and her work on youth football tackling and training methods, concussion assessment protocols and tools continue to improve.

There are several neurocognitive systems that most high schools utilize, which obtain a baseline test score pre-participation. As a result, if a concussion is suspected, a post-injury test can be performed immediately. In some states, there have also been increased state regulations that all high schools must follow. This has significantly improved the landscape of how concussions are assessed and treated.

Concussion care

When an athlete is diagnosed with a concussion, an ATC is responsible for looking after the concussed athlete on a daily basis. Since every concussion is unique, each case must be handled individually to ensure the athlete is completing all the required steps and is ready to safely return to action. Traditionally, the stages ATI ATCs follow for a concussed athlete include:

  • Education: It is crucial that a concussed athlete and their family be educated on the injury, what to expect and the next steps that need to be taken.
  • Contact: After an injury occurs, the ATC is the point-person for any orders from the athlete’s primary physician for school modifications and symptom monitoring. When an athlete is symptom-free, the ATC will be in contact with their doctor, school nurse, coaches and athletic director to ensure the athlete advances on to the return-to-learn phase.
  • Return-to-Learn: The return-to-learn phase is when the athlete returns to school and begins working their way back to a full academic workload.  The ATC coordinates with the school nurses and councilors to ensure the athletes are following physician protocols and safely moving through the return-to-learn phases.
  • Return-to-Play:  Once the return-to-learn protocol is completed, the ATC completes a return-to-play progression with the athlete. This is a step-by-step process that ramps the athlete’s activity level back up. This serves to ensure that the athlete’s symptoms don’t return and that the athlete has the confidence to return to their sport they love to play.

Spotting a concussion

Spotting a concussion is a method that continues to change in the concussion climate, which is why it is crucial an ATC be current on assessment protocols. In its most common form, a concussion can be spotted when an athletic trainer sees a head-to-head collision. A head-to-head collision is the most obvious indicator of a concussion and almost always warrants a thorough evaluation provided by an ATC. It is important to note that not all concussions come from head-to-head collisions.  Some concussions come from rapid rotation or can even be caused from smaller repetitive blows to the head.

Assessing a concussion in the initial stages can be tricky, which is why it is important athletic trainers connect with their athletes and get to know them personally to spot any unusual changes in their mood and energy. An ATC will put themselves in the middle of the athletes during timeouts and breaks during practices and games to get a read on their athletes, look at their eyes and ensure that everyone is healthy to participate. While an ATC serves as the team’s primary concussion-spotter, it is also important that athletes and coaches catch potential head injuries and communicate any potential issues with the team’s ATC.

Recently, new technology in helmets can measure and notify athletic trainers when a high velocity impact has occurred. Athletes wearing this technology in their helmets will be pulled from practice or competition if an impact hard enough to cause damage occurs or if several smaller impacts have occurred and the sum of those collisions crosses a certain threshold.

Playing with a concussion

An athlete who continues to play with a concussion is putting their health at an increased risk of sustaining something called second impact syndrome.  Second impact syndrome is a condition that occurs when a second instance or injury occurs to the brain that has already sustained an injury that was not completed healed.  This has the potential to be a life-altering injury. This is why ATCs are so vital in preventing, assessing and caring for head injuries.  If you or someone you know has recently experienced a head injury, get it checked out right away. Stop by an ATI clinic near you or schedule a complimentary screening at ATI Physical Therapy today!

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