Sunday, March 30, 2014

What can students teach Justin Verlander about sports injuries?

With the Detroit Tigers season on tap for March 31st, there are as many reasons to be optimistic as there are potholes on Michigan roads. Well almost.  In order for schools to close the gap on teaching relevant subjects, sports medicine is the studied subject at Conant Elementary in Bloomfield Hills. From studying data to talking to trainers of professional sports teams a trio of students are well past learning their multiplication tables and are looking to take their knowledge of sports medicine to change the way we treat sports injuries.


Bloomfield students study sports injuries, offer advice for Tigers star Justin Verlander

Students at Conant Elementary in Bloomfield Township with their mentor (right) conducting a research interview. Photo submitted
As Justin Verlander prepares to pitch another Tigers Opening Day game at Comerica Park, three students at Conant Elementary in Bloomfield Township have some advice for him.
“Always stretch out because, if you don’t stretch, you could pull something. But don’t just stretch before. You have to make sure to do cool-down stretches, too. People forget to do that,” Robert said.
Robert, Michael, and Byron have chosen to research sports safety, which includes researching athletic injury prevention and playground safety, as their international baccalaureate project in the fourth grade at Conant, part of the Bloomfield Hills School District.
“A big cause of injury for pitchers is arm injuries,” Robert said. “Because when they throw the ball, they can pull something in their arm. But they can also have head injuries because if they hit the ball back up to the pitcher and it hits them in the head, that can be a serious injury.”
“He needs good reflex skills,” Michael said. “If the ball is coming right at you — he needs to duck or move the mitt in front of his face to stop it,” he said, adding the students have also learned about pitching rotations and how that can prevent pitchers from getting fatigued throughout the season.
The students also interviewed an assistant trainer with the Detroit Lions who told them he treats player injuries with cold and hot baths.
“Now we know that there’s a law about sports safety,” Byron said. “A lot of football players talked to legislators about that and now we’re hearing that they’re trying to make baseball safer.”
Just this season, Major League Baseball changed the rules involving collisions at home plate.
All three boys wished the Tigers well in their season opener Monday against the Kansas City Royals and said they would like to interview Verlander about sports injury prevention.