The Chicago Stallions would like to welcome their new SafeSport coordinator Jim Allivato! Professionally, Jim is a Licensed Athletic Trainer and the Sr. Director for ATI Worksite Solutions; and while he's new to this role, Coach Jimmy is a longstanding member of the Stallions coaching staff.
Throughout the upcoming year Jim is going to bring parents insight into the health and wellness aspect of youth athletics, and work alongside the Stallions organization while emphasizing SafeSport!
Hockey season has officially started with seeding round games, so there is no better time to talk about one of the issues most frequently publicized in the news and on the minds of parents - concussions. Most of the attention has been focused on football, but concussions can and do happen in any sport. When it comes to hockey it’s obvious that the collision aspect of the sport and the playing area, which includes very hard surfaces (ice and boards), increases the possibility of a head injury.
One thing that is important to understand is that a concussion can also occur from the rapid movement of the head where the brain bounces back and forth inside the skull. A hit or bump from behind can cause a whiplash motion of the neck and result in a concussion. There does NOT have to be head or helmet contact for a concussion to occur. Additionally, remember a helmet does not prevent a concussion; it may only reduce the severity of the injury. While some studies have shown wearing a custom mouthguard prevents concussions, there are also many studies disproving the theory.
At the bottom of this message I have included some resources for you to better understand concussion signs and symptoms, as well as the most common course of treatment for those who have sustained a concussion. One thing that is clear from all of the research is if a player has ANY of the signs and symptoms of a concussion, they should be removed from play immediately.
For families with athletes over 12, please consider the Step aHead program. It is a collaborative initiative between the Blackhawks, AHAI and NorthShore University Health System that provides baseline concussion and follow-up treatment testing. The latest research supports the use of baseline testing to better diagnose the extent of a head injury and provide a clearer picture on when it is appropriate to return to play. To register for the Step aHead program, please click here.
Our coaches have received training on the signs and symptoms of concussion and will follow our protocol. However, sometimes symptoms are subtle and you as the parent know your child best, so please be sure to refer to the resources if you feel something is not right. Be sure to seek out your child's physicians or one of the specialty clinics that work with the Step aHead program in Illinois for further assistance.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at anytime.
Lets have a SAFE and successful season!
Jim Allivato, LAT, ATC
Dear Stallions Parents:
Ensuring all of our players are properly hydrated is going to be a main focus this season in safesport. Many parents tell their children to drink water during practices and games to “stay hydrated”, but what that implies is that their child came to practice or the game already hydrated. Past studies of hydration in young athletes found that 50% to 75% of child and adolescent athletes are already dehydrated before even beginning sports practice and competition.
Numerous studies have shown that hydration has a significant impact on an athlete’s performance. Therefore I am asking that you:
1. Have your player pre-hydrate prior to games and practices (12-16 oz. of water) approx. 1-2 hours before activity.
2. Have your player bring a water bottle with their name to every practice and game.
3. Provide your player with adequate rest and hydration in-between same day practices and/or games.
Please encourage your player to drink water during any exercise. Water should be their main source of hydration. While may prefer the flavor of sports drinks; it is important to remember that a 32oz. bottle of a sport drink contains about 200 calories. In most cases, plain water can get the job done without added calories or sugar.
Keep ‘em hydrated,Jim Allivato, LAT, ATC Safesport Coordinator Chicago Stallions Read more about the importance of hydration!