Youngstown State University's Assistant Athletic Trainer doesn't like to see athletes in his training room. For one, it's usually bad news when they show up and Todd's main objective is not just to heal athletes when they come in, but to prevent them from coming into the training room in the first place.
Breaking down the injury epidemic in sports, especially in youth sports, Todd provides plenty of statistics and causes of the injuries in these players. He also shares a philosophy to decrease injuries, in order to keep players out of the training room and on the field.
According to studies cited by Todd, injuries are growing at a rapid pace - nearly 4x more surgeries take place today than 5 years ago. More specifically, knee injuries make up the majority of sports casualties and an overwhelming percentage of knee injuries require surgery - especially female athletes. However, the most riveting fact about the entire injury epidemic is that these injuries are preventable according to the trainer.
Connecting the Training Room With the Weight Room
So what prevents the sports world from taming injuries in a day and age of endless technology and advancements? For one, says Burkey, is American sports culture which is part media, part culture, and part coaching: "Play hard" and "toughness" are taken out of their proper context. However, there is also a technical failure: there is a disconnect between the rehabilitation/training room and the weight room. The two components of an athletic program do not always coordinate fully, therefore, leaving athletes vulnerable to re-injuring themselves. In order to successfully prevent injuries at an effective rate, athletic departments must commit to connecting the training room with the weight room.