Dr. Arnold Checks in from Boston

image1St. Vincent Sports Performance is partnered with several National Governing Bodies including USA Track and Field. Dr. Todd Arnold of SVSP is a performance scientist for USATF, helping its athletes prep for major national and international events. Here’s a dispatch from Dr. Arnold’s travels.

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Typically, we go to the track where these athletes train, assess movement patterns and try to make corrections toward the desired mechanics. But, this week, we took a different approach to working with USA Track and Field. Taking care of athletes where they compete is another key aspect to high performance training. That brings us to Boston for a couple of days, as the city hosts the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Several big names are in attendance including Jenn Suhr, who just recently broke her own indoor pole vault world record.

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Here, we are caring for the American athletes trying to keep them healthy so they can compete and win events. We arrived two days before the event to treat athletes with a wide range of injuries and issues, with a goal to identify the source of that persistent sore leg or limited thoracic spine.

 

This was an incredibly interesting event for me.  The first two days we were in the hotel conference room treating as the athletes got off planes from their home tracks with stiff backs and sore legs.  The day of the meet is spent helping them feel optimally stretched and activating their muscles for prime performance.  An interesting dynamic is that we represent all USA athletes and care for them all equally.  At the Olympics they will be teammates, but here they are competitors.  Literally we have athletes on the table at the same time as the racer on the next table is preparing to beat them this weekend.  That certainly brings an interesting dynamic, but fortunately if there is any drama they are professional enough to not let us see it.

 

Throughout the event, especially early in the day there are competitions for high school and middle school athletes. It gave these young hopefuls a chance to warm up on the same stretch of rubber with the world record holder warming up. The younger athletes likely recognize these elite athletes from competitions or commercials. Many likely follow them on social media, but today they use the same small space and are called to their event by the same staff. What an amazing day for those young athletes!

 

As Sam Kendricks was cooling down and stretching (and walking around on his hands!), some quite young athletes raced over for an autograph. Sam spoke to them for a bit and signed their items. He said they probably don’t actually know who he is, but it still is a thrill even for him. It was great to see the elite athletes also reveled in sharing the space with their younger counterparts.

A great meet overall, good results on lots of fronts.  Next up is the Millrose Games in New York next weekend. Give these athletes and SVSP a follow on Twitter for even more from the Road to Rio.

 

 

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