Photo: Dr. Adam Shaw with Northeast Orthopedics Sports Clinic and Physical Therapy (pictured at far left) conducts a seminar during the annual NEO Coaches Symposium on Aug. 2 at Southside High School. (Kaitlin Fleming/Messenger)
By Kaitlin Fleming/Staff Writer
In a few short weeks, the local football season will be in full swing, and with that comes every coach’s worst fears – sports-related injuries.
Northeast Orthopedics Sports Clinic and Physical Therapy hosted its 5th Annual Coaches Symposium on Friday, August 2, at Southside High School.
The event, which included coaches from several sports from all over Etowah County, helped relieve those concerns while offering in-depth information about injuries and how best to prevent them.
Chris Russell, a physical therapy administrator with NEO, said youth group coaches, middle school coaches, high school coaches and even a band director or two attended the symposium.
“This year’s theme is all about innovative ways to help your athletes,” said Russell at the beginning of the symposium.
After opening remarks, the 100 hundred or so coaches in attendance selected two 30-minute breakout sessions from a list of four topics to visit before lunch. Much like past years, topics were chosen from the previous year’s suggestion box.
“Feedback was great,” said Russell. “They really enjoyed it. That’s why we added two new speakers. Coaches even asked for PowerPoints from the seminars. I’m glad they got some value out of it.”
One of the most popular seminar topics was “Proper Heat Illness Management” with Dr. Adam Shaw, during which coaches learned that the leading causes of heat illnesses are prolonged heat and sun exposure, dehydration and too much physical exertion. They also learned how to avoid the negative impacts that heat-related illnesses can have.
Other topics covered were “Getting Your Athlete Back on the Field After Injury” by Kaitlyn Revette, “New Conditioning Concepts for Athletes” by Doug Strautman and “Sports Nutrition for Athletes” by Jordan Sims Cassidy.
After the seminars and lunch provided by Chick-fil-A, attendees reconvened in the auditorium for closing remarks, a raffle drawing and the chance to drop in a suggestion for next year’s symposium.
“We’re going to continue doing this and bringing in innovative speakers and brand-new ideas,” said Russell. “We find this work important. We’re trying to educate coaches on topics that are both important and interesting.”
In addition to the annual symposium, NEO sends its athletic trainers to local high school football games and hosts Injury Clinics on Saturday mornings beginning Aug. 24 until football season ends.
“Football has more injuries than probably any other sport combined,” said Russell. “It’s such a hard-contact sport. With the Injury Clinic, kids who got hurt on Friday night can come in and get checked out the next day.”