For those of you who love the semi-pro teams in Sioux Falls, you are probably thrilled to know the Herd is back. I think you'll appreciate their athleticism even more once you see what kind of testing these young hockey player go through for their sport, but really its for their own good. This Avera Medical Minute goes to the new Avera Sports Institute.
These Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey Players probably can't appreciate how lucky they are the moment, but very few athletes in the nation get this type of intensive testing because very few facilities are equipped like this. One of the evaluations we watched was a player on a stationary bike hooked up to monitors with a tube in his mouth checking how they breath under duress and on the brink of exhaustion.
Derek Ferley is an Exercise Physiologist with the Avera Sports Institute. He says, "This should give us the ability to work with athletes from all sports, all ages, in the entire community to train these athletes and take them to a whole other level."
The Avera Sports Institute moved into what used to be the Sioux Empire Golf Dome in July. It's been converted into a state-of-the-art high tech testing and strength training facility.
Ferley says, "The whole battery of tests is designed to give athletes a power profile because in sports that's what it's all about. Strength is great but as an athlete you want to know how quickly you can give and apply force so that's what we are trying to assess with this day of testing."
They tested for leg strength and which leg is dominant and core, lower body, and grip strength. All of which is crucial for hockey players. Avera and the Orthopedic Institute are the official health care sponsors of the Stampede.
Dr. Keith Baumgarten specializes in sports medicine and did physicals on the players the day before they were tested at the Avera Sports Institute. He says, "We start off getting the baseline range of motion and power, muscle strength and flexibility tests. We are trying to determine the detriments they have in the pre-season so we can start them off on a focused strengthening and stretching program to maximize their ability to perform during the season. We will do this again half-way through the season to see where they are and what they need to work on to keep them at their peak performance.
The mission of Avera Sports Institute is to become a sports science and research center.
If you have questions call 877-at-AVERA or go to www.averamckennan.org