Injuries in Pro Sports

Someone wrote in with this comment yesterday:“The other thing that you always have to consider with the NFL is so many of these guys have "specialists" they see all over the place during the season and during the off season. Everyone seems to have specialist or guru they depend on to get through.” This is a major cause of the problem. It is true in basketball and baseball. The support posse’s that these players acquire have no accountability to the teams that pay the players. They are not in the loop with the team trainers, the conditioning coach or anyone else associated with the team. Incidentally it was these “specialists” that also were the source of the drug problem in baseball, look at Barry Bonds trainer, look the problems they had with the Texas Rangers. From what I have seen their agenda is to please the player and not do what is necessary to insure that player will stay healthy. They are not at practice, so they have no ideas what the player did before they got to them. If they are medical people they duplicate treatment or prescribe contradictory treatment. Who is to blame for this? I put the blame right in the lap of the teams. They are letting the inmates run the prison. They are afraid of the agents and the player’s associations. I fought this battle with the Mets, basically they were afraid of the agents and did not want to piss off a player. Yet now the teams are holding team conditioning and medical personnel accountable for something they may not have control over. Also another problem that is the fault of the teams is bidding out medical services to the highest bidder. That does not insure the best medical care, it insures someone who has marketed themselves. Same thing with conditioning staff, they have no idea what is good and bad, if they see a lot of activity that think that is good. Folks I have seen all of this, doctors who were incompetent, conditioning coaches sending out programs that are flat out terrible! All of this plays into the hands of the agents and the players because then they go look for something better. The more I look back on my nine years with the White Sox we were able to do it right, but that was another era.


At 1/4/07, 11:25 AM, Blogger Joe P. said...

Vern is correct. "Pay to Play" is alive and well in medical care in professional & amateur sports.

At 1/5/07, 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sure is and it is not little bucks either. If I was a pro player I think I too would have my medical staff that I trust and knew me. Some of the D1 University medical groups do not seem real competent to me either and small college staffs are really poor in many cases. If we were treating and training these players before they went big time should we not be able to have input later on IF the player wants it?


At 1/5/07, 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Players have a short career (finite earning potential) and do not trust in the team to look after their personal best interests. I speak from experience as a PT who has worked with dozens of players to date. If the "team" training product fit their needs they would buy in. Most players (that are smart enough to care) are intuitively more progressive than the strength and conditioning staffs that administer the programs and work outside the team canopy. Rusty Jones in Chicago has adapted his thinking over the years since he left Buffalo and is doing a great job. He also took a lot of input from key players in Chicago that have influence on the other coaches and administration.

Keep up the great work Vern,


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