Today I am privileged to welcome Sam Blanchard. Sam is joining me from New York, where he is working with the Buffalo Sabres and is based with their development team, the Rochester Americans.
Sam is a fellow countryman from the UK, and is held in extremely high regard in exercise and sports medicine circles within the community. Sam has an abundance of knowledge to share, having previously worked as Head of Academy Physiotherapy for one of the best football academies in the UK - Brighton and Hove albion - as well as being a senior lecturer of physiotherapy at Brighton University. In addition, Sam has also been presented with the Gold award from the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sport and Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM)...no easy feat!
Sam has some fantastic ideas regarding rehabilitation of athletes as well as development of youth athletes, and we discuss in detail his newly published theoretical model of rehabilitation which has been welcomed by the sports medicine community.
In this episode we discuss:
Rehabilitation of adolescent athletes with regard to sensorimotor training
Sam's Recent Publication, looking at his visual model for exercise progression
Insights in to how we can appropriately manage groups of young athletes of various biological ages and developmental abilities
A look at bio-banding; what is it and how can it be utilised in sport and with the general population
Selected Links from the Episode:
1. Systematic review:
Quatman-Yates, C. C., Quatman, C. E., Meszaros, A. J., Paterno, M. V., & Hewett, T. E. (2012). A systematic review of sensorimotor function during adolescence: a developmental stage of increased motor awkwardness?
2. Sam's visual; showing that, when injured - an athlete should be regarded as a novice for a particular skill until appropriate rehabilitation and testing has shown otherwise:
Sam explained to me off air that this image represents an intuitive process which should be adopted in the re-acquisition of skills following an injury. There should be a process whereby the athlete begins again at a novice level, before moving progressively through to elite level.
In the acute / early stages of injury, the instructions we give as therapists and coaches should be mostly explicit; meaning that we give clear instructions where the athlete is tasked to perform a certain movement in a certain way over a certain time period of our choosing., e.g., a straight line run where the athlete accelerates over 20 metres in a specified time frame.
As the rehab programme is progressed, these instructions become more and more implicit, meaning that environmental variables aren't controlled to the same level, and the athlete has the opportunity to decide their movement and tactical strategies, e.,g the injured athlete is part of a small sided game (3v3) whereby the only rule is that he has to keep moving continuously.
It may be considered detrimental to jump directly to implicit exercises and rehabilitation cues too soon, where the athlete has not yet reached the required 'elite' skills level that they were at before.