Damar Hamlin MNF commotio cordis event highlights need for youth sport safety programming, fundraising and sponsorship for monies
When Damar Hamlin went down from sudden cardiac arrest, my wife looked at me and said, "something serious just happened." My reply was,"it's the NFL, something always serious is happening." But this one, this event, in front of the world on NFL Monday Night Football, hit like a sudden thunderstorm during an outdoor camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. This one - made the world aware. This one, you could say, HIT HOME. And so thankful Mr. Hamlin survived. The world breathed a sigh of relief when we heard the news. Prayers and blessings for that news.
It made sense to us. See, these deaths happen all the time in recreational, school and youth sports tournaments and competitions, Our Amazon e-book details that the recreational sports industry does not have the same level of oversight mechanism for sudden cardiac arrest, CPR, first aid healthcare professionals that the professional sports events have. And the estimate of youth athletes alone is not small, in fact, it is estimated 80 million kids play recreational sports in some capacity.
Consider the Certified/Licensed Athletic Trainer (ATC/L) only have about 55,000 in their overall community. Most of these trainers work in high school, collegiate and professional sports, some work in hospital settings and others work with Physical Therapy or Orthopedic clinics, Some, sadly, have retired or left the industry due to risk of financial security. Where does the sports medicine oversight mechanism for concussions, CPR/First aid and AED for the massive number of athletes at a sports tournament come from?
Question: If 80 Million kids play sports and you only have 55,000 trainers, what is the ratio of kids: practitioner?
Answer: 1454 : 1
Q: What does the ratio mean?
A: This means in order to have an oversight mechanism in the recreational sports programs you need partner programs across all levels of businesses, hospitals, industry AED (automated external defibrillators) tech providers, government committees and non-profits working together to build the sports medicine community.
While we recognize a nurse, EMT/Paramedic or teacher on school premises, unless otherwise qualified, has the skills to perform CPR/First aid/AED, that position should not be taking the place of the athletic trainer during the school sports program hours.
Q: What is the ratio of athletes : trainers (healthcare personnel) suggested for events?
A: 300 : 1
Q: What does 300 : 1 mean?
A: That means if you had an event with roughly 1500 athletes, the event should have at a minimum 5 Athletic Trainers/health professionals on-site. Most organizations, however, consider the contact verse non-contact event when booking practitioners and may consider a non-contact sport event a lower risk than a high contact sport like football. This means in a non-contact sports event, you might see 2 ATCs or EMTs on-site for up to 750 - 1,000 athletes.
Q: How do you know if your ratio is right for your event?
A: Preparation, practice and consistency. Having partners that help you assess your needs and be a teammate for your athlete success is imperative. You know you run a great organization but do you have great sport safety? Having a system in place and being willing to add a few details into sport planning will go along way in determining the ratio for athlete safety best practices during sports activities.
We need more Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapists, Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, even Nurses & Doctors to support youth sports safety programs at school (and recreational events).
The tragedy for all of youth sports, parents beware
It will take at least 10 - 20 years to build these industries up to speed, to cover every sport event in schools, recreational and competitive programs alike. The tragedy for all of youth sports programs, parents, kids and referees is an event can occur at any time. If your organization does not put athlete sport safety first, you have to consider if they are also putting your own safety at risk.
Q: Can professional sports events start without Emergency Medical personnel, Athletic Trainers, Team Doctors on-site?
So, why do youth sports programs sacrifice the safety of their personnel and student-athletes for the sake of saving money in the budget?
Why Partner With Us?
On May 7, 1997, the day I learned about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) as a 15 year old growing young man. I learned you could die playing sports. We keep Matthew Tennyson Wanke spirit, intangibles of effort, the kindness, integrity, friendship, love of sport and combine that with my vision for sport safety in the future - when working with our partners. We strive to help your athletes thrive through fundraising, sponsorship and support to help youth student-athletes learn about career fields available other than being a pro athlete. The chance for success is 99.7% in something other than a pro athlete, so please partner with us so we can lead kids to industries they'll love so they'll strive to complete school and build their own health and wellness, sports medicine or healthcare team.
We consider the possibilities for updating supplies and providing partners with supportive event safety programs so that partners can trust they are prepared appropriately for any recreational or competitive event.
How To Donate
#makeanassist #pennyaday just $3.65 towards our program helps support underprivileged youth sports programs with sports medicine supplies.
In life, we experience positive and negative emotions, how you react will decide your future? How can you be your best?
In One word: emotions.
In two words: emotional control:
In three words: breathe before acting
In four words: breathe before acting foolish
In five words: breathe before getting yourself arrested
In six words: breathe before ruining your remaining life
In seven words: breathe before going to prison for life
In eight words: breathe and say no before your next action begins
In nine words: think about the richness of breathe, life, family and freedom
In ten words: turn around, go home right now, avoid catastrophe, live happy
See, a lot of times other people make us angry. They really get our goat. They make us want to react to their chaos. But we don't have to make an immediate response. We can wait. And it is within the waiting period where you can turn tragedy into triumph. What if, on the other side of friction, was a best friend. A dude who loves the same NBA team and video games. A would be friend, that if not for living on the other side of the neighborhood, is an enemy. What if, before you acted on emotion, before you took action without giving yourself breath, life, justice, freedom - you asked yourself: where in my body is my "emotional control"? did I breathe yet?
I bet you didn't realize that your breathing is in your control. While you may have the joyous experience of breath daily, freely, much of the time in life, we are not even aware that our breath is short. That's what high stress can do - it can take your breath away. The guys who show up in the brightest of lights, when the times are the toughest always take a deep breath or two before the next play.
What if you became more aware that breathing could influence decision making On AND Off the court, field or sideline? Would you breathe in bigger when stressed in life? Would you avoid the chaos and fall into a series of meditative breaths to calm your mind, body and spirit? I tend to believe that many poor decisions are made when student-athletes are responsive and reactive in negatively perceived situations. The other person, the person that "made you mad", is not your enemy. When you stop breathing, you feed into the ego who says you must win in this one v one battle called life.
But when you actually roll the dice in real life, expending action from emotions without breath, you take the risk at pulling the trigger twice - potentially hurting or killing someone now and trading your entire future self of desired experiences, opportunities and a world of beauty that's out there, for what many would call, a stupid altercation.
If you read this, I hope you will join us in a daily series of deep meditative breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, to help you prepare calming your mind, easing body tension and inspiring your soul for a positive day.
#makeanassist #pennyaday #teamassistprogram #eq #emotionalintelligence #breathing #meditative #meditativeexercise #exercise
Where is eq BEING TAUGHT?
To do or not to do? To take or to give? To steal or to pay? To protest peacefully or riot? To teach or to manipulate? Which one is you? How do you make decisions? Is it random or are you consistent with your words and actions?
The affect of knowing I could control my temper outbursts was a shock to me, when I learned at the age of 30 that if I thought about two simple words placed next to each other, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), I could trick my brain into calming itself. How? I take a breath. Deep breath 4 seconds in through the nose and a deep exhale 4 seconds through the mouth.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to utilize the moment in between DECISION and ACTION in order to make the best decision in that specific moment. You want the RESULTS of the DECISION to be in your favor. It is in THIS MOMENT where you MUST find the WORDS to share your message. YOUR WORDS are YOUR POWER. Please share this message - we need to use our words in each of those moments to create decisive actions that peacefully, respectfully and with united measures to mitigate any and all discrimination and racism in our world.
I'm not saying it's easy. I'm not saying everyone can do it every time. Some things cause outrage. Watching Mr. George Perry Floyd's passing hurt me to a core. Mainly because my goal with every one of my clients everyday is to help them breath. I don't discriminate my work based on skin color or mass of human body. Now, in times of coronavirus, everyday I am especially in-tune with my clients need for breath, seeing as we have to wear a mask. Every Single Day, I ask my clients, at least 2 times if they are breathing ok. And every time I ask that question, I get sad for Mr. George Floyd's life, his family and those who knew him.
So, as I was saying, if the cop would have had some type of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE the conversation, assumptions and outcome would have been different. Mr. Floyd would be alive, the cops would be working the streets and maybe a positive video goes viral.
#1love #makeanassist #youthsports #learnup #blm #powerinone
In a story we read in a recent AARP magazine, a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player who has retired now owns and works in a funeral home. Among the conversation in the article was his "why?"
See, Andre Dawson grew up knowing he had something great to accomplishment. Once he did all of the things he could in the sport of baseball, he retired and got back to the drawing board. He knew he had to give back to the community that helped him grow and become the man he is now and decided on an entrepreneurial path. He owns a restaurant in Miami Gardens, Florida, which all in all seemed pretty normal but he also owns a funeral home in Richmond Heights, Florida. What was curious to us is... how could a Hall of Fame ball player stumble down the path to own a funeral home?
Dawson heard about a funeral home for sale in the Richmond Heights area. He understood that if he didn't purchase this business it would be shut down. He also understood that without a funeral home in the vicinity of Richmond Heights, there would be no place for the Seniors and families in his neighborhood to host a ceremony when a community, family member passes away.
And that is how he found a secondary career in owning a funeral home. By purchasing this business, Dawson is giving back a space for love, life, cries and laughter to the community that helped him grow and have so much success in sport and adventure in life.
#makeanassist #community #givingback
The reality of "Pay to Play" model and the possibility of the "Play to Stay"
Do you ask questions of the organization board prior to signing up?
Do you ask for an itemized or otherwise specific guide for how the incoming monies will be spent?
Do you request information about the sports medicine and safety of your athletes?
Do you explore being on the board or participating as a volunteer ambassador?
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports programs many parents ASSUME the sports organization knows best. However, most sports clubs operating in the United States do not have anyone on the board with a professional sports management skill set.
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports many parents don't know which questions to ask thereby allowing the organization to run a league without efficient sports management structure and an accountability tool.
You see - in a pay to play model for youth sports most organizations don't identify sports medicine as a function of their event. Take football for instance. In well managed youth football organizations the incoming monies goes to helmets, jerseys and pants, padding, mouthguards, socks and cleats, coolers, field rentals and footballs. But what do they do for athlete safety? Most of them struggle to schedule and therefore rely on volunteers, spectators and supporters to come up with service costs or time on the sideline.
How much of the monies goes to sports medicine and safety for the youth athlete?
How much of the monies goes to safety and technology for the youth athlete?
With a 1% Chance to go pro, what other careers in sport offer competitive income, satisfaction and longevity?
Team A.S.S.I.S.T. Program is a non-profit program focused on assisting organizations and their middle and high school-aged student-athletes with learning about careers in sport other than a professional athlete.
Why? Because while every youth watches their professional athlete and idolizes their skill set, rarely do they identify the commitment it takes from personnel to support a team of athletes or manage the event directly.
And with parents hyper-focused on their student-athletes success in life and sport, here are a few initiatives students may take to building a successful career straight out of high school.
In a recent Forbes.com article in May, author Bob Cook discusses how parent involvement in the firing of a High School coach in New York backfired on them. So, today we ask the question, why do parents go over the top when trying to support their youth athlete? Why can't they see they are not helping the situation?
Unfortunately, as Cook points out, parent involvement in the firing of a coach happens all too often. When parents gather around the court or ballfield, they all have stories of engagement with the individual coach and may choose to assess, or possibly judge, said individual. What happens when the parent sees the coach out after work hours having an adult beverage? What if the coach is texting and driving? Should we always expect a coach's firing or a letter of concern to go to the school administrators?
When a student-athlete isn't developing at a certain rate during the school sport calendar, getting enough playing time or succeeding in their sport the way the parent 'hoped' they would, they will lean on other athlete parents, school administration and sometimes the coaches to push their child to more training. But what if that child just wasn't meant to play that sport at an advanced level? What if there is another avenue for their child to succeed and maybe even at a greater level that they haven't considered yet?
Parents get so hooked on "investing" in their kids future playing one (1) specific sport that they lose sight of other career or sport opportunities their child could work on. What if the parent could change their mindset to identify the real challenges their student-athlete is going through in that sport and support them by providing experiential learning of other sports and activity? Rather than going to the coach, or school administration, threatening a job and bullying over more playing time or advanced attention in practice, WHAT IF THEY explored, learned and recreated the environment to support the youth in advancing their mindset in all of sport.
Just because a youth wasn't meant to be on the baseball or softball field and go pro does not mean they can't attain a scholarship, become an Olympian and have a successful career in sport. Individuals that overcome challenges are greater skilled when adversity hits. When encouraged to strive no matter the circumstances and to take each hurdle as an opportunity, especially during a competition or work event, they are going to be more inclined to see the positive growth rather than blaming another person.
If parents learned to be the role model on and off the field for their youth athletes as opposed to spectators on the sideline, our society would be a world different. If you are a parent, please share with us how you work with your student-athlete to encourage and support them in their sports and goal setting activities.
Youth sports are fundamentally a place for equality. A space for a kid to learn how to play in the outfield by themselves but as a part of a team. An environment for them to challenge themselves, see what role they play on a team and how they can work together among peers.
But as adults creating sports organizations, many individuals lose the concept of teamwork. They lose perspective, the value of working together, and stop trusting in the process of commitment. Everyday we strive to partner with youth sports non-profit organizations who believe in the rights of Middle & High school-aged student-athletes to grow into successful men and women among our society.
Some of these boys & girls come from urban communities and others from rural communities - but when it is all said and done, where they come from matters, but not as much as where they can go! However, in order for them to #learn #grow #makeanassist in their community, they must learn from their elders. And currently the industry doesn't trust in the process - let alone have a stable process set-up for success.
When we work together, we find common ground. We find a commitment and desire to share in the successful growth of youth. With a 99.7% chance to become great in something other than a pro athlete, it is time we commit to teamwork that will create the change we hope to see in the world. This involves having fundraising and sponsorship dollars committed to youth safety, education components that inform youth athletes on the opportunities other than becoming a pro athlete and the fundamental rights each child has and must demand of us to work together for their personal growth. And, you already know where it starts. It starts with us, the adults, working together and trusting the process.
Be The Change...
A lot of people write blogs, articles, and newsletters, but what value do they have if there is no call-to-action or evidence of change.
Over 20 years have gone by with the same conversation at hand: how do we make youth sports safer? Safe from what, who, when, where and why?
Safe from Sudden Cardiac Arrest? concussions? or the worst case scenario of sexual predators? Over time, while newspaper writers, elite athletes and colleges have gone through the turmoil, there has been little to no change.
It is now time to share the insight into what makes youth sports great and why why must invest in the youth student-athletes starting today! The numbers don't lie. Ask the NATA how many Certified Athletic Trainers they have registered in their association. Go ahead and ask the Board of Certification, the NCAA and other major elite associations what their Certified Athletic Trainer student population looks like? Ask them what the industry growth rate looks like. And then, compare that to the 60 million kids playing sports. Compare that to the countless urban and rural communities that can not access a sports medicine practitioner for one reason or another (typically funds ie money appropriations or scheduling).
And then consider that if we start teaching the youth that they can impact the world today through their independent, free thinking strength and desire to become successful we can turn them from a statistic to a professional - in something other than being a pro athlete. Because honestly, after 20 years, it seems not one person has focused on being the problem solver. Register as a brand ambassador for Team A.S.S.I.S.T. and we'll ensure the sports organizations we work with have the tools to receive the appropriate education reform to turn kids who struggle with school, sports and education today into the leaders of our future! #makeanassist
a purpose driven author