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  1. #1
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    Trainer/Conditioning Coach



    Another thing that has been stewing in the back of my mind for a good while is the Ravens condition(ing).

    I have no arguements that they are in shape, I see muscles bulge, I hear percentage of body fat numbers, what I'm pondering is more subtle and hopefully I can put my thoughts across and gain some more insight from others.

    Now I don't know much about the current/past training staff, so I'm not addressing anything specific... Just that there seemed to be a large number of muscle injuries... strains, pulls, hamstrings... and I began thinking along the lines of maybe we needed a new trainer.

    I understand that there are reliable/proven techniques and procedures, and at the same time we know that athletes are bigger, faster, stronger... so there is a chance that the old techniques have reached their limit and weren't really created to deal with this upper stratosphere of today's professional fitness.

    "Oh, the tendon pulled right off the bone"
    I don't remember ever hearing of such things starting back in the days of Gino and Big Daddy and Billy Ray.... didn't hear such things with Curtis, and Barnes and Laird
    No it seems to me to be a far more recent phenomenon, and I don't have the answers
    Just a nagging thought that there is something missing. I know there is stretching and flexability, and running against elastic resistance... but is there more that can be done and from a completely different slant?

    People with X percentage of fast twitch muscles lift weights for a different amount of time per week than those with a higher percentage of slow twitch muscles???
    People with X percentage of slow twitch do stretching on a different time scale. (I toss that out as conversational speculation)

    I know injuries occur, legs get rolled up on, stinger shots to the spinal column happen, and I'm not talking about those.

    So... how are/were the Raven trainers? Are they basically clones of every other team? Do they stay the same? or will they also change with a new staff?
    In life we see Alternative medicine, alternative diets, alternative this alternative that, and I wonder if something "alternative" is needed to be added to help stop hamstrings from pulling, allow ankles to roll a little more without sidline-ing a player.




  2. #2

    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Well our new coach has served as a Trainer/Conditioning Coach at one point in his career so I expect he will recognize the importance of the position and get an exceptional person for the position.




  3. #3
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    I've been wondering about this for a few months now myself, more from a quality control perspective than a physiological one. Do we analyze injuries to figure out how to reduce their likelihood? Do we look at things like player position, physiologial data (e.g., % body fat, BMI, etc.), weather conditions, techniques, etc. to isolate trends in data that we can attempt to mitigate?

    I have no answers here (yet), but am somewhat surprised to hear so few questions. If a warehouse had an injury rate like the '07 Ravens, insurance companies would be crawling all over the place looking for causes. Certainly, with far more at stake (economically, at least), one would expect some serious analysis of the problem. Is it being done? If so, why haven't we heard of it?

    BS




  4. #4

    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSunday View Post
    I've been wondering about this for a few months now myself, more from a quality control perspective than a physiological one. Do we analyze injuries to figure out how to reduce their likelihood? Do we look at things like player position, physiologial data (e.g., % body fat, BMI, etc.), weather conditions, techniques, etc. to isolate trends in data that we can attempt to mitigate?

    I have no answers here (yet), but am somewhat surprised to hear so few questions. If a warehouse had an injury rate like the '07 Ravens, insurance companies would be crawling all over the place looking for causes. Certainly, with far more at stake (economically, at least), one would expect some serious analysis of the problem. Is it being done? If so, why haven't we heard of it?

    BS
    The problem with trying to figure out the causes is this IMO.

    In 2006, with basically the same team besides a few subtractions, we had almost no significant injuries.

    Ray missed a game or 2 with that back bruise. McNair went out in 2 games but that was due to getting his hand stepped on and a concussion.

    The problem with your analysis using a warehouse is that a warehouse is a controlled environment.

    The same cannot be said for a football game.

    The only thing that I can attribute a little to is the age factor. Besides that? It's just a flat out crap shoot and luck when you talk about trying to avoid injuries.

    BTW, Im gonna assume that our strength and conditioning coach was the same in 2006 and 2007. Tess is the head trainer and he's been here for years.

    PP




  5. Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Totally agree, 2006 no injuries, basically same team and staff, had nothing to do with the trainer or conditioning or camp cupcake.....this year was just a flat out fluke with injuires. And the injuries were to very very key players, not backups or special team players.

    I like when people compare camp cupcake to us getting injuries....... so going all out and killing each other in practice would PREVENT injuries? wouldnt that cause them in practice? you dont get use to getting decked out in practice and then get decked out in the game and just walk away, it hurts just as bad and can cause injury in either practice or the game.
    Season ticket holder since 1996 Section 148 Tailgate Lot H
    See my photos and video at www.bmoreravens.com




  6. #6
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Sprains, cuts, concussions, fractures etc. happen, very little you can go to stop them...it is the luck of the draw.

    Muscle injuries, some of them are controllable. Hamstring injuries, my back doctor told me a while ago, are almost totally caused by a muscle imbalance (i.e. working the quads harder than the hams). The less-developed muscle will always fail first. That, and proper stretching and hydration.


    WORLD CHAMPIONS 2000 * 2012




  7. #7
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by camdenyard View Post
    Sprains, cuts, concussions, fractures etc. happen, very little you can go to stop them...it is the luck of the draw.

    Muscle injuries, some of them are controllable. Hamstring injuries, my back doctor told me a while ago, are almost totally caused by a muscle imbalance (i.e. working the quads harder than the hams). The less-developed muscle will always fail first. That, and proper stretching and hydration.
    Agree!!

    You are hitting dead-on where my thoughts were churning.
    Definitely a big percentage of injuries are just the nature of the game, and my focus was more for those which could be more preventable that maybe the traditional "old-school" way just isn't addressing.

    Since you brought up hamstrings, lets pause there a minute...
    Todd Heap this past year
    T-Sizzle the year before
    #52 to IR surgery in 2005 with a torn hammy
    I remember Mike Anderson having an issue as a Raven.

    I did an archive search here, and found an interesting blurb from Tony Lombardi http://www.profootball24x7.com/colum...2&view=archive
    TRUTH: There seems to be an epidemic of hamstring injuries in the NFL these days. The nearest and dearest hamstring in the collective heart of Ravens fans belongs to Mark Clayton. That seems to at least be a tolerable albeit unstable situation for the second year receiver. Brian Rimpf?s hamstring injury is another story and it could land the swing lineman on injured reserve.

    Elsewhere in the league there are hamstring injuries hampering star receivers Hines Ward and Terrell Owens.
    This is what I'm talking about
    Camdenyard, if it is what you are saying- Muscle Imbalance????
    Then we have at least one person on the staff who is fumbling the ball and costing us good players game-time.
    A strength coach? a conditioning coach? a trainer? I don't know, all I know is that I've been getting the whiff of something that I don't like the smell of.
    Thats why I'm trying to get some discussion going on.




  8. #8

    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    I actually think there is a different reason for all the hamstring injuries in the NFL. To pull back into the OP's statement about not hearing about this stuff in the 60s with the Colts etc. back then, I think it's all related.

    Training has improved now, plus it now being a 12 month sport, that athletes have way more muscle than they used to. Guys that play running back look like DLs in the 60s. Throw on top of that the very likely use of human growth hormone (since there is no test for detecting it short of a blood test today, and the end result is guys are tremendously bulked up muscle-wise, way more than a natural muscular man would be.

    Now the human body is a system, and every system has its weak link. In an overly muscular body, it's the tendons and sometimes joints that hold everything together. Think of this - two small rubber bands linked together by a light paper clip. Pull hard, the rubber band breaks. That's the old days. Now, replace those small rubber bands with 1" thick ones. Pull hard. The paper clip breaks! That's today.

    This isn't a specific trainer issue. It may be an industry issue on how to build the weak link up, but with as many hammy injuries as there are these days, there's a different reason for it IMHO.




  9. #9
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Awalt's right in the respect that today's pro football players are much bigger than in days gone by. The human body - esp. ligaments, joints - was not designed to handle the stress loads that are placed upon it on a football field. 5'11" frames holding 250+ pounds all muscle is not natural.

    Trainers can train athletes all day on the proper body building and training techniques, such as muscle balancing. And I'm guessing that the vast majority of athletes heed this advice. But under increasing stress loads, the precision of the workouts needs to be exact in order to avoid breakdown.

    It's akin to a big iron diesel engine of 426ci that is designed to put out 425HP. With basic maintenance, it will run thousands of hours. But, use a lightwight aluminum block and slap a turbo on it and rate it at 550HP, and unless it is meticulously maintained it will blow apart after a few hundred hours. It's not designed to handle the stress of that much power.

    I think some guys - and I'll guess Clayton is among them - have just not learned how to train or stretch properly. The result is injury. The trainers can get a handle on why a condition re-occurs, it is up to the athlete to make the adjustments.

    Of course, if steriods, etc. are in the mix and you have rapid muscle mass growth, all bets are off. You will see quad, bicep and tricep tears - like Searcy had multiple times.


    WORLD CHAMPIONS 2000 * 2012




  10. #10
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    Awalt, Camdenyard good points.

    Yes, I had kinda assumed that the tears from the bone attributed to massive bulk/ unnatural strength.

    Did a little more checking on Ravens and hammys, for a game against Houston (05?), we had Ray gone, and Cmac and Rimph and Vincent all with hammys, and JO left that game with one.
    I know a little about weight lifting (The Orioles have been to six World series since I did any competitive )
    Squats sure don't do anything for hammys....
    which goes back to my origonal wondering of old school ways of training.
    With Ray and others being real rah-rah in the weightroom (and no complaints, I'd rather see them that way than the opposite), maybe we need a specialized coach to step in with something like..
    "for every day that you do this many squats with this much weight, you need to pause for 2 days and focus on this regimen for the hamstring during those days."

    Seems like something has to change somewhere. I really don't know what...
    injuries are going to happen but can more be done for the preventable ones??
    I would hope so, my thinking is along the lines that we haven't found the right coach in that area yet.
    Kinda like Ellison/Mouse DAvis was to a super offense, we need someone super with preventing muscle pulls.




  11. #11
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    I don't really keep track of these things so I'll ask this question, are the Ravens the only team experiencing an increase in these injuries? Just from the cursory glance I take at injury reports I thought it was really league wide, but as I say, I don't pay that close attention to it.
    AZRAVEN

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  12. #12
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    Re: Trainer/Conditioning Coach

    I haven't specifically been watching either

    Until Camdenyard put me onto hamstrings, I was just vaguely on muscle pulls in general.
    I know I see hamstrings listed in injury reports all the time.
    Interesting to know if there is a team who is consistantly well below the average for that specific injury (and hire their trainer for us!!!!)

    Again no facts/statistics, but it does seem that the Ravens have had more than their share of hammys.
    Again back to that game in Houston (Ray, Cmac, Rimph, Vincent, Suggs, JO)
    that is a huge percentage of the roster, and if it is in any way preventable...




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