When the white coat comes off, so do the gloves!

Dr. Bree Simmons, part of the Performance Medicine team at St.Vincent Sports Performance, has a unique hobby. She’s a Jammer with the Circle City Derby Girls, known as “The Killer Purple.” While her love for derby is strong, so is her desire to use her medical training to make the sport safer.


Step It Up This Summer

School’s out, sun is shining, and the weather heating up can only mean one thing: Summer. With summer comes the time we covet the most, vacation. This is the time for relaxing and taking a break from reality. Whether you’re headed to the beach or relaxing by the pool, these leisurely activities can be transformed into hardcore, effective training. Two of the most widely available resources on the planet, sand and water, can now be used for getting in shape.


A simple training exercise in the sand can turn into a strenuous task. When you exercise in the sand, you’re taking in 100% of the force you apply to it. This is due to its soft and extremely absorbent nature. In return, your muscles must work harder and faster to get the speed, explosiveness, and intensity you desire. The best part about sand is that you can take basically any cardio or leg exercise you do in the gym and bring it to the beach.sand jump

A great exercise you can do practically anywhere is vertical jumps. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, squat down so your knees are slightly bent, and jump straight up, trying to bring your knees to your chest. Do this for three sets, each for 30 seconds. In the sand, you’ll feel the burn quickly. Another simple exercise you can bring with you on vacation is the basic lunge. Step your right leg out in front of you, then squat down, keeping your back straight, until that leg is at a 90° angle. Return to a standing position and repeat the same step with the left leg. Alternate legs for three sets, each set a minute in length. There’s no need to limit your body to these two leg exercises. There are plenty of other exercises you can try in the sand including: squats, sprints, mountain climbers, and jogging. sand lunge

If you’re not near a beach this summer or are just not a fan of the sand, then the pool is a great place to train. The best thing about the pool is that it is practically stress free on your joints. It also has a natural cooling and calming effect on the body. Although these benefits may make this sound like an easy workout, training in the pool can be just as difficult as any other workout, if done right. One of the most difficult and beneficial workouts you can take to the pool with you is sprints. If the pool is around shoulder height, sprint the total length of the pool down and back 10 times. If the pool gets too deep, sprint the width of it 10 times down and back. This may not seem like a lot, but the resistance the water gives you will require extra effort to get any speed.Water running

Like stated before, vertical jumps make a great workout to take anywhere. Standing in an area with the water just below your chest, repeat the same steps as stated for the sand workout, each for 30 seconds. After pushing through this great workout in the pool, you can expect to feel exhausted immediately after. This summer, continue to strive for your peak performance to help you burn off that extra daiquiri by the pool!

May means one thing in Indy

Believe it or not, it’s that time in Indy again. Time for racecar drivers and racing fans from all over the world to flock to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indy 500. We at SVSP are proud to be working with 1/3 of the drivers on the starting grid and SEVEN pit crews!


Drivers participating in the 500 have been gearing up for weeks with rigorous training and preparation. Having worked with elite drivers like Tony Kanaan, over the years we have developed a high performance-training program that is required for these drivers to achieve peak performance when they hit the track.


TK-hatRacing requires a different set of strengths and skills than any other sport. Therefore, a racer’s training regimen must be specially designed to withstand the conditions unique to racing.


The main things that racecar drivers need to focus on in training are endurance, strength and posture. Racing is extremely exhausting due to the tight driving positions with seat belts, heavy control appliances, not to mention the extreme heat they experience from the heavy safety clothing and helmet. Also, the G-forces, vibrations and shocks can take a toll on not only the muscles but also the skeletal system, so a strong core and postural stabilization for drivers is a must.


In order to ensure our drivers are fit to perform at their peak in these conditions, we complete a fitness analysis testing them in six areas on various aspects of their strength, endurance, posture and overall health.


The first of these assessments is the Functional Movement Screen. This is designed to locate any weak links in the driver’s movement pattern. Having a weak link in movement patterns can result in a decrease in performance as well as possible serious injury. With this test, we are able to identify what movements need to be improved so we can work towards greater movement efficiency and decrease the chances of injury.


Two other important tests are the YMCA Bench Press and the Horizontal Pull-Up, which focus on upper body strength and endurance.


The YMCA Bench Press measures the driver’s upper body musccore-with-Feldmanular endurance and strength, two very important components to a driver being able to finish a race strong.


The Horizontal Pull-Up test measures not only strength and endurance, but also stability and balance of the back muscles, shoulders and spine, which are particularly useful in steering.


With the feedback from each of the six screening tests, we are able to build unique and custom programs for each client’s individual needs. After assessing the drivers and addressing their fitness needs, they are ready to compete with confidence and a cutting edge. Ladies and gentleman, start your engines!

Outdoor training tips

Now that the weather is finally cooperating, outdoor training can officially begin again! With many doing marathons, 5Ks, and outdoor running, all athletes- especially runners, need to keep their bodies in check to help prevent injuries.

Jamey Gordon, DPT, ATC, CSCS, a Performance Specialist at St.Vincent Sports Performance, gives us a few quick tips on staying healthy while training.


  • Take a day off

Running everyday is difficult for even the most seasoned runners. Your body will heal and build itself up during the time you take to rest. Training tells the body what it needs, and rest builds it.


  • Listen to your body

If an injury causes you any pain while running, you need to stop instantly. If you are determined, take a walk break and attempt to run again- but if the pain and limping return, call it day. If pain persists for more than two or three days, seek out an injury assessment. 


  • If you have swelling, stop running until it is resolved

Apply ice directly to the swollen area for 20-30 minutes, no more. Occasional icing is okay, as long as you make sure the area returns to normal temperature before reapplying. If swelling persists or is recurrent, contact a health professional.


  • Sharp pain is the body’s danger signal

This should not be “worked through.” At the very least, take a break and walk if sharp pain occurs. Dull aches in the absence of limping or swelling are okay to continue through, as long as it does not worsen during your run.

Many injuries can cause trouble runners, but the following are the most common injuries that they face. Be aware if these symptoms become present.


Plantar fasciitis

  • Feels like: Pain on the bottom of the foot/heel, especially first thing in the morning.
  • First line treatment: Stretch the calves; roll the foot on a golf ball or rolling pin. Gradually warm up for running with walking or light jogging.


IT Band Inflammation


Achilles Tendonitis

  • Feels likes: Pain in the calf down to the heel on the back of the lower leg.
  • First line treatment: Ice and stretch the calves, with a gradual warm-up.

Knee pain is also a common occurrence in runners and can be caused by a number of factors. If swelling is present, seek an evaluation from a healthcare professional for a gait assessment.


  • Do transitional running

Transitioning to running outside from the treadmill should be done gradually over a two week time period. Mix up inside and outside running for that time to get your body used to the differences, so you don’t have to sacrifice any of your hard-earned training.


  • Dress appropriately

When transitioning from on a treadmill to running outside, remember to dress for an outside temperature that is 15-20 degrees warmer than the actual temp. This will accommodate for rise in body temp during running.


  • Layer your clothes.

The innermost layer should be a moisture wicking material and your outermost should be wind/rain proof, if weather dictates.

Follow St.Vincent Sports Performance on Twitter and YouTube for more tips on training and performance.

How our sixteen athletes became NFL READY

16 NFL prospects prepared their minds and bodies for a career in professional football under the expert hands of St.Vincent Sports Performance this past offseason.


The St.Vincent Sports Performance NFL Pre Combine & Pro Day Program encompasses all that impacts the athlete’s performance at the Combine and/or their college Pro Day – Performance Training, Performance Nutrition, Performance Medicine and Performance Psychology.


The team at SVSP is assembled to bring the latest techniques and processes to each athlete in each of the aforementioned areas. From the initial physical assessment, to personalized meal plans, to position specific coaching provided by Coach Jimmy Graves and Football Performance, the St.Vincent Sports Performance NFL Pre Combine Program is the most comprehensive program of its kind and has once again produced amazing results for our clients.


Click to view the results:



Summer is hardest season to maintain diet

Summer, w1hich is right around the corner, is one of the hardest seasons to maintain a good diet. Though many find it easier to be physically active in the summer, they may also find themselves succumbing to unhealthy meals at various cookouts, sporting events, or vacations. Thankfully, our Sports Dietitian, Lindsay Langford MS, RD, CSSD is here to provide you with some helpful tips on making the right diet choices this summer.


For breakfast, start your day off with something containing at least 5g of protein and 3g of fiber. If you’re a cereal person, you should choose Oatmeal Squares cereal over Cheerios. While Cheerios aren’t nSquares-BrownSugar-Detail.sflb.ashxecessarily bad for you, they don’t contain much fiber. Eating these could spike your blood glucose, and won’t fuel you for very long, whereas Oatmeal Squares will both fuel your body longer and keep you fuller. You could also have low-sugar oatmeal with some dried cranberries for a great healthy breakfast.


As a light summer snack, Lindsay recommends roasted edamame or roasted soy nuts over peanuts. Both are lower in calories than peanuts, and offer two to three times the protein and fiber. A good pairing would be Greek yogurt or Kroger CarbMaster yogurt instead of traditional Yoplait or Dannon brands. Both of these have two times the protein, and are often lower in fat.


Now on to everyone’s favorite way to cook in the summer: grilling.

If you’re going with burgers, grill up some ground turkey instead of beef. Most turkey burgers are 90 NYT2010062812371399Cpercent or more lean meat (meaning that only 10 percent is fat), and most beef is usually in the 70’s. If you like cheese on your burger, Lindsay suggests the 2 percent reduced fat cheese. For hotdogs, you can also choose a turkey dog for the same type of nutritional value.


For all you steak eaters out there, Lindsay recommends going with a sirloin or filet cut over a t-bone or rib eye. Filets and sirloins are much leaner cuts of meat, and you won’t have to cut around the fat to enjoy. Remember to go light on the seasoning, as many are high in sodium.


If you choose to grill fish, salmon should always be your first choice over other types, such as tilapia or catfish. Salmon is what Lindsay considers a “power food,” and has a lot more omegas than other types of fish.


Remember that you can also grill healthy fruits and veggies such as peppers, pineapple, cantaloupe and more. These are all a great compliment to any grilled meats, and are very healthy.


With these tips, you should be able to get through the holiday weekend, as well as the entire summer, without letting your diet get off course. Stay tuned for more summer tips, and as always, if you have any questions, contact us!

Off-season conditioning tips

During the off-season is where true athletes are made. You can either slack off while continuing to stay at your constant level of being a good athlete, or you can work hard and become one of the greats.


At SVSP, we know you want to be the best athlete you possibly can, which is why we have found and shared the following tips with you. It doesn’t matter whether you are a swimmer, runner, high-jumper, or a football player, all athletes can benefit from the following training and conditioning tips.


Train in a standing position:

The majority of athletic training should take place while standing, as most sports take place in that position. Of course there are exceptions, but generally, athletes will always lose something when we go from a standing position to a different position


Use free weights:

You don’t need to use machines in order to gain results. Most machines constrict your natural movements anyway. Using machines is fine for beginners, but in order to develop into a strong, sustainable athlete, you need to be able to stabilize and control you body in all ranges of motion.


Train with explosive power

When saying this, we mean for you to find a way to do your body motion, fast as possible, while maintaining control. You have to be careful to not have sloppy, uncontrolled movements, as there is a high percentage that you will injury yourself. Practice makes perfect in this instance, as you need to master the motion before you work to gain speed.


Train movements, not muscle groups:

The only time you need to focus on individual muscle groups is after an injury, while in the rehabilitation process. As we said before in regards to explosive power, all athletes should focus on strengthening specific movements, not the individual muscle groups. Find the movements that fit your specific sport, and work to improve those during your off season.


Don’t worry if you are not seeing results straight away, persistence is key when it comes to building up your stamina and muscle mass in regards to training and conditioning. The harder you work, you’ll see strong, positive results, and the better you will feel about your overall athletic season to come!

Supporting a healthy immune system

Athletes often worry about injuries keeping them off the field of play but seldom think about the importance of a healthy immune system. Here are some nutrition tips that will help support an athlete’s immune system and keep the athlete at the top of their game:


Remember to Thank Your Athletic Trainer This Month

Now that March has officially begun, we are celebrating National Athletic Training Month (NATM). Although we celebrate our athletic trainers every month of the year, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association dedicates each March to this profession in order to spread awareness about all that athletic trainers do for their athletes.Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 4.50.19 PM


From our 33 partner middle schools and high schools to collegiate, professional and community athletics, St.Vincent Sports Performance Athletic Trainers help athletes of all levels on a daily basis across Central Indiana. In honor of NATM, we asked our professionals about their jobs and what they love most about it.


Q: What is your favorite part of being an Athletic Trainer (AT)?

A: Having a positive effect on someone’s life, and watching your athlete smile when you’ve helped him or her feel better and improve or fully heal an injury.

– Jennifer Brennan, LAT, ATC

Pike High School and Ind yCar


Q: In your own words, what does an AT do for athletes?

A: Athletic Trainers are advocates for our athletes. The health and well being of our athletes is our greatest concern. We help make injuries make sense to our athletes, in return helping them help themselves recover and prevent injuries from reoccurring.

– Brittani Moore, LAT, ATC

Creekside Middle School


Q: What is the most stressful moment you have had on the job?

A: The most stressful moment for me was when we faced two life threatening situations – parent with heart attack and student athlete with respiratory distress – at two different events at the exact same time.

– Jan Clifton-Gaw, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Hamilton Heights High School


Q: What type(s) of certifications or schooling do you need to become an AT?

A: I have a bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and have a national certification from the National Athletic Training Association. You have to be certified in order to practice.

– Brittani Moore, LAT, ATC

Creekside Middle School


Q: Do have a favorite memory that stands out, or one from working events over the years?

A: Too many to recount… every day working at St Joseph’s College, being at a good competitive game at Pike (High School), working USA Football and Big Ten (NCAA) events, working with IndyCar and being in the garages and pit lane, and of course working with the Indiana Fever (WNBA) and getting to know the ladies and watching them win a National Title, all while being able to share the experiences with awesome co-workers.

– Jennifer Brennan, LAT, ATC

Pike High School and IndyCarScreen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.31.31 AM


Q: Besides in a school environment, what other areas can ATs fall into?

A: Other areas where you would see ATs working would be in rehabilitation clinics, industrial settings, military, law enforcement, fire departments, youth camps, the Olympics, and youth sport leagues.

– Sherry Molinar Manzelli, MS, LAT, ATC

Roncalli High School


Q: Why are personal training and athletic training often confused?

A: A lot of people just refer to us as “trainers” leaving no differentiation. Personal trainers are the popular thing related to sports, so most people think that’s what we are. Some of us are both, but athletic trainers are medical professionals that assist in injury treatment and prevention. We are what I consider the hidden gem in the medical and health and wellness field.

– Brittani Moore, LAT, ATC

Creekside Middle School


Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: Honestly, it’s the simple things like ‘thank you’s’. It means a lot when someone appreciates what you are doing for them. Though, being able to see your athletes improve throughout recovery and then be able to return to their (individual) sport is rewarding in itself.

– Gavin Page LAT, ATC

Clinton Central High School 


For more information about NATM, visit http://www.nata.org, and remember to thank your AT and members of the SVSP team this month for all that they do!



Best ways to build strength on your own time

St.Vincent Sports Performance Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach Aaron Ruth CSCS explains how athletes can challenge themselves with strength and flexibility exercises, all from the comfort of their living room.


Building strength and flexibility doesn’t have to be done with heavy weights or expensive equipment. Traditional exercises, such as push-ups, squats, planks and lunges are perfect exercises to be done at home.


These exercises work to make an athlete stronger, but not necessarily to build muscle. For younger athletes who aren’t in high school yet, it is more important and safer to work on continuous strength rather than building bulk muscle without supervision.


Try these exercises at home to build strength and increase flexibly. A great time to do these exercises is during a 30-minute television show during commercials. Begin with three sets of 10 repetitions:Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 2.32.13 PM


  • Jump in a single hop to a stable elevated surface, and then step back down. Use a chair or box that won’t slide out from under feet.


  • Step one foot onto a chair or bench, then push through the heel of the elevated leg to step the other leg up. Do a set stepping forward, then turn 90 degrees and do a set stepping laterally.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.46.46 PM

  • Sit back against a wall in a squat position with knees over ankles and a 90-degree bend from knees to hips. Then stand up from this position.


Planks are a great way to build strength in the lower body. To start, do sets of front planks, side planks and glute bridges. For more variations on glute bridges, watch the Sports Performance Tip of the Month video.


Follow SVSP on Twitter and Facebook for more exercise and training tips.