Schwartz: A Must-Read For Soccer Parents, Coaches And Players
By Peter Schwartz
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It’s a tool that will become a must-have for soccer parents, coaches and players. One of the leading experts in soccer injuries has written a book that is designed to provide common-sense tips on how to prevent injuries, how to stay on the field and when to return to the field after suffering an injury.
“Soccer Injury Prevention and Treatment,“ by nationally-recognized physical therapist John Gallucci, Jr., is a comprehensive guide that provides everyone involved in soccer with details about preventing injuries, identification of symptoms and exercise techniques.
While concussions are a major concern in soccer, there is another injury that occurs more frequently.
“The biggest thing that we see, especially with female athletes, are anterior cruciate ligament injuries within the teen years,” said Gallucci at the launch party for the book on Thursday night in New York City.
As far as concussions go, recent rule changes will hopefully limit head injuries. The idea is to prevent kids from heading the ball much before they turn 10 years old. The important aspect of concussions is to understand the proper technique that goes into heading the ball.
However, soccer is no different from any other sport, as concussions have become a big part of the sports landscape.
“The important thing that we’ve learned over the last five years is truly an education of how to treat it,” said Gallucci, who serves as the medical coordinator for Major League Soccer and the President of JAG Physical Therapy. “…In the book, we have a chapter dedicated to truly understanding the signs and symptoms of concussions, how to treat (them) and how and when to return to the field.”
Foot, ankle and shin injuries are also very common in soccer.
A big part of Gallucci’s book is former U.S. National Team star Tab Ramos, a member of three World Cup teams. Ramos wrote the forward and appreciates what this book means for the sport of soccer.
“A book like this is really overdue,” said the former NY/NJ MetroStar (now Red Bulls). “This is a great educational tool for parents, coaches and athletes.”
Having the New Jersey native involved with the book was a no-brainer for Gallucci, who treated Ramos when he was the head athletic trainer and physical therapist for the MetroStars. They have been close friends for years and Gallucci is appreciative of what Ramos means to this book.
“Tab was huge,” said Gallucci. “I took care of him for years when he was playing. And to have somebody of his caliber really help get the message out is huge, especially with his new position with youth soccer.”
Ramos is the U.S. Soccer Federation Youth Technical Director, and is the head coach of the U.S. U-20 national team.
Youth-level injuries have become a major concern in the soccer community. Gallucci points out that there are a lot of overuse injuries that athletes are scared to see a doctor about out of fear that they will be sidelined for a week.
But dealing with an injury for the short-term makes more sense than worrying about making it worse.
“It’s better to rest for a week than sit out for two or three months,” said Gallucci, who also serves as a consultant to many NFL, NHL and MLB athletes.
“Soccer Injury Prevention and Treatment“ features over 80 illustrations that explain how injuries can occur, where they happen and the best way for the injuries to heal. Readers will also be introduced to L.E.S.S., JAG Physical Therapy’s Lower Extremity Strengthening System.
While the players will learn a lot from the book, it’s an excellent resource for parents and coaches. Parents should use the book as a guideline for conditioning, understanding of nutrition, hydration and how to treat their children. Coaches will find training tips in the book as well as concepts of understanding that too much too soon causes injury.
The paperback book is published by @demoshealth and will be available wherever books are sold on June 5. It will also be available as an e-book.
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