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!
We all struggle with keeping sugar out of the mouths of our children. It is everywhere - and if you read labels - it’s in everything. With that in mind I wanted to share some information from reputable sources about the effects of added sugar in the diet as well as some opportunities to change eating behaviors.
I often see our players come into the locker room with sports drinks and “energy bars”, both of which are leading sources of added sugars in the diet.
Eating sugar before exercise doesn’t improve performance or stamina. On the contrary, it triggers insulin production, which transports sugars out of the bloodstream instead of the opposite, leaving the athlete tired, weak and light-headed. Also, high insulin levels can trigger the onset of diabetes type 2. If a pre-training energy boost is needed, I recommend bananas and dried fruit that won’t distort blood sugar levels.
I encourage you to review the article Is Sugar Killing Our Kids? By Dev K. Mishra, M.D., President of Sideline Sports Doc. As always, please reach out if you have any questions.
You may have noticed that hydration is an important focus for the Stallions new Safesport Coordinator, Jim Allivato. He’s seen the effects of proper hydration with athletes of all levels, and is using that knowledge to help strengthen our players. But the puck doesn’t stop at hydration. Jim is on a mission to increase the preventative mindset of our players and their families.
We recently sat down with Jim to learn more about his experiences and goals for the Stallions community with his new position.
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