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Hockey - Ice

Steps Athletes Can Take To Reduce Concussion Risk

There are four steps an athlete, such as a hockey player, can take to reduce their concussion risk, says Dr. William P. Meehan, III: learning to play with their head up, strengthening their neck and shoulder muscles, not returning too soon from a previous concussion, and avoiding hits from behind.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

I was visiting recently with a friend who was the assistant coach on a local high school team the past several years. The head coach had been under great pressure from the parents of the players for many years, but it had intensified the past year.

He told me that no matter the quality of the coach, nobody should go through what the head coach had to endure with the result that, after 9 years, the head coach was taking a leave of abscense for a year. I agreed with him, but, as I thought more, I realized that much of the blame really fell on the coach. He is not a good communicator and manager of people. He is passionate about the sport, studies the game like no other coach, but yet he failed to sell his vision and program to the parents and players.

Coaching Great Athletes

Today I got a call from Adam. He is a former bantam hockey player who recently graduated from Ohio State, where he played baseball. He is now headed to rookie camp for the Milwaukee Brewers. I thought back to his bantam hockey team and realized that, besides Adam, two others currently play in the NFL, one in the NHL and four more are currently or will be playing professional hockey.

Wow, what a crew! One half of the bantam team ended up playing professionally in three dfferent sports. Now how often does that happen? What a thrill to have coached those young men and their teammates. It simply shows that good athletes can play many sports and, to get to the top, one needs to be a good athlete.

Throat Injuries: Often Overlooked Risk In Contact Sports

One often overlooked area of an athlete's body that needs protection from potentially life-threatening injury is the throat and neck, particularly in ice hockey and lacrosse, both of which are played with sticks and high-speed projectiles (pucks/balls) that can come in contact with a player's throat area.

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA Hockey continues to expand their American Development Model (ADM) that is intended to provide youth players a better quality of experience in the game, higher skill levels, and a safer environment that will attract and retain more players. The model is tested in other parts of the world, makes lots of sense for kids, and it has the support from many disciplines in the medical field. Hockey associations and clubs around the country are quickly adopting the concepts and ideas although some are fearful of the changes that are required. The interesting part of all of this is that many of these ideas have been around for a long time and only now are they organized into a coherent long term development program for youth players and older athletes.

The Times They are A changing

As Bob Dylan is often quoted," The Times they are a changing", is especially true in youth ice hockey across the world. 

2011-2012 Ice Hockey Rules Revisions Focus on Concussion Prevention and Flow of Game

No contact with an opposing player's head or neck area will be allowed at any time in high school ice hockey, effective with the 2011-12 school year, under a rule approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee and the NFHS Board of Directors. Any contact of that kind could result in a stand-alone minor or major penalty, or even a disqualification.

Polluted Air at Ice Rinks Is Dangerous to Athletes' Health

Attention hockey moms and dads: the air you and your children are breathing at the rink may be hazardous to your health. The culprit:  gas-, diesel- and propane-powered ice resurfacing machines which spew out a toxic stew of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter, all which can result in potentially serious short- and long-term health problems.

Body Checking Banned At Pee Wee Level

In June 2011, USA Hockey approved a rule banning body checking in youth hockey until the Bantam level (13-14 year olds) first proposed at the organization's winter meeting January 22-23) in Colorado Springs, Colorado..

Ice Hockey: Many Injuries are Preventable

As a full-contact sport that takes place on the ice with fast-moving players equipped with sticks, pucks and skate blades, ice hockey's risk for injury is always high. Concussions and many other serious hockey injuries are, however, preventable. In addition to altering the way they play the game, players can take prevention measures both before and during the season.
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