Updated: Jul 20, 2018
There have been great developments in sport science over the last number of years. College and professional athletes in all sports now have access to things that can help them perform better and for a longer duration.
However, one area in which this has lagged behind is young athletes, particularly those on the cusp of realizing their dreams. That’s what Dani Langford, a former college basketball player turned physiotherapist, and famed physiotherapist Alex McKechnie come in. They will be having a clinic during Bballnationals directed towards coaches, parents, athletes, and fellow physiotherapists that will touch on how best movement and conditioning for the developing bodies in youth athletes.
“Our general goal is to connect the physiotherapy community and the coaching community” said Langford on what she hopes to accomplish with this clinic. “[We are] trying to help some coaches optimize their practices and trying to get more involvement into how we’re moving and sequencing of patterning into earlier age group for kids.”
For coaches, it’s important to understand the body of a growing athlete. They often are essential in moulding young athletes, and if they can instill good habits in their young age, it has the potential to pay off in the future.
“[Coaches] see a ton of athletes early on and we’ve been try to kind of get them and educate them in terms of movement patterns, and which ones can be problematic and why. Then we can clean up some of those movement patterns early on which can help decrease some of the injuries that we’re seeing, whether that be repetitive strain injuries, ACL injuries which are on the rise, lower back pain, all of those things are definitely happening more.
The growing athlete is a very unique clientele for us in the sense that their bodies are constantly changing and so in this clinic we’re trying to give coaches some tools because it can be frustrating. ‘So and so’s knees are sore again and they’re just sitting on the side, what do we do with them.’ So it can puts coaches in a tough position. We can give them some stretches and some little tips around how to deal and how to help out with the knees of a growing athlete.”
A big part of the clinic will be the wisdom passed on by Alex McKechnie. McKechnie won five rings with the Los Angeles Lakers, first a consultant and then as their Athletic Performance Coordinator. He’s also worked personally with NBA MVPs Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash, and has consulted with various other professional teams across numerous sports. Langford says that he will “definitely” share some stories about working with these incredible athletes and bring his years of experience and expertise to the clinic.
“He’s sharing with us his approach and his way in treating athletes, not only in basketball but baseball and [it] applies to every sport” she explained. “It’s principles of movement that he’s used with professional athletes and he’s used with kids and that we’re trying to share with the community [and] trying to get athletes moving better at a young age and moving efficiently.”
Langford also stresses that this not like other core clinics in that it will introduce not only information on the cutting edge of sports science but also practical drills that can be used immediately.
“For example, getting up on your toes defensively” she said when asked for an example. “That doesn’t work. That just puts them into poor movement patterns. By optimizing we’re going to talk about queuing, we’re going to talk about [proper] movement. [. . .] There will [also] be lots of practical, take home drills that coaches can utilize on Monday morning’s practice.”
The clinic will be held on August 11th between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm at the Langley Events Centre. Registration is $100 for Bballnationals participants, and $125 for non-Bballnationals participants. The early bird rate for non-Bballnationals participants is $100 if you sign up before July 25th.
Email Mike@bballnationals.com to register for the clinic!
Written by: Nick Bondi