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Youth sports: CGH preseason evaluation seminars upcoming

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 11:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 19, 2013 11:49 p.m. CDT

As a young athlete, the thought of going to the doctor for a preseason physical seemed ridiculous to me.

After all, aren’t teenagers invincible? It seemed so ridiculous that I formed the bad habit of waiting to the last minute to complete my physical.  

One particular time comes to mind: the night before basketball tryouts in seventh grade. I was in a panic, because my physical form had not been signed and, without it, participating would not be possible.

My dad was irritated at my lack of responsibility. Nevertheless, he called a family friend, who was a doctor, to help me. I made a mad dash to the doctor’s house, answered some questions, and had the form signed.

No prescription was given for my irresponsible behavior. My mission was accomplished, but not in the smartest way.

Only after becoming a doctor did I realize how foolish it was to downplay the importance of the preseason check-up, not to mention how inadequate my evaluation was by a family friend.

The preseason doctor’s visit represents an opportune time for every athlete to receive not only a thorough medical evaluation, but also meaningful information on how to stay healthy throughout the season.

That’s why CGH is presenting the preseason sports health seminar, Creating a Game Plan for Safety and Peak Performance, on July 29 and Aug. 3 at the CGH Physical Therapy Center, 1809 N. Locust St., Sterling. Both sessions will include lectures and interactive demonstrations.

The main goal of the seminar is to educate athletes, coaches, and parents about principles relevant to strength and conditioning, injury prevention and treatment, sports concussions and sports nutrition.  Becoming more knowledgeable about how to play smarter and safer will help athletes reach their athletic potential and reduce the risk of injury.

Although commonly referred to as the preseason physical, the more accurate term is preseason or preparticipation evaluation, and it should include much more than a physical examination.

The basic goals of the evaluation are to review all points of an athlete’s medical history, to complete a thorough physical examination, and to order additional tests, if necessary, to further assess areas of concern.

All of this information is used to identify conditions that are life-threatening, disabling or predispose an athlete to injury. After the evaluation is complete, the doctor determines the extent of safe participation for each athlete.

But with sports injuries becoming more frequent in the past 2 decades, counseling is an often overlooked aspect we believe is a vital part of the evaluation. Counseling on topics relevant to sports health and injury prevention has become a priority.

All the seminar costs is 90 minutes of your time, quite a bargain buy when teenagers’ health hangs in the balance.

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