Thursday, September 13, 2012

Concussion file


Injury prevention is the first rule of teaching and coaching. The current emphasis on the long term consequences of concussions has brought out a number of diagnosis and treatment suggestions. 

What is missing is a sharp focus on the hard helmets, for football in particular. The strength and speed of the players today, once they reach high school age, seems to have increased the incidences of injury. It is time for manufacturers to invest in the technology needed to produce safe soft helmets for all sports. The technology is available. The will is not.

Articles . . .

Kids' sports injuries: Concussion consequence quiz [] 9/11/12

I received this article from a former college and pro football coach and friend. It is about a soft practice helmet for football. You may not be aware of this . . . jack [] 8/29/12

CONCUSSION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: It is important for parents and coaches to be able to recognize when a student or child has had a concussion so that they receive the appropriate medical attention and are not put at risk for another concussion. The most common signs of a concussion are as follows and can be used to estimate the severity of the concussion. 

1. Loss of consciousness (it is possible to have a concussion without having lost consciousness). 

2. Post traumatic memory loss (how long this continues after the injury is also important).

3. Headache, dizziness, confusion, and a lack of concentration. (Source:


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How to reduce concussions in football

How to reduce concussions
by Jack Hutslar
December 7, 2011

Concussions in sports, American football in particular. 

I began to take a serious interest in concussion prevention in sport over 20 years ago. Prior to this, I was teaching and coaching activities this did not have, what you would call, a high risk for concussions.  

Prior to this, I had only a passing interest in football helmets. I did not play football but took undergraduate courses in football and athletic training at Ohio State. 

These hard football helmets at that time did not have much padding except around the ear "flap" area. The inside top area, around the crown, had a web suspension system. That was it. When I asked about more padding, the common response was . . . that would be too hot.

Years later, this is what caught my attention. Soccer players wants to wear head protection. It was denied by league officials. My knee jerk response to this idea was, how utterly foolish.

Based on these observations and the need to offer better protection, I developed three suggestions that will immediately reduce concussions in American football.

1. Remove all facemasks** from existing football helmets. No exceptions. Players will not make head-first tackles when there is no facemask to protect their face. This will change blacking and tackling immediately.

[**Note: Baseball and softball catchers absolutely need facemasks.] 

2. Replace the hard shell helmets with soft molded shells similar to the material used in wrestling mats. Eliminate facemasks too. This involved science, but not rocket science.

3. Fully pad the outside of all helmets with material similar to what is found in wrestling mats. Eliminate facemasks too. This external padding was tried at Ohio State for one or two years by Coach Woody Hayes. It was dropped ... a coaching decision. OSU players, running backs in particular, were getting hit in games with hard helmets but soft helmets in practice. The outcome was fumbles.

I am eager to speak with manufacturers about developing soft helmets for all sports that use helmets.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Social media and college recruiting

How Social Media is Changing the College Recruitment Game

Social Media Expert Explains How College Coaches and Student Athletes are Adapting

Student athletes and college coaches alike are taking notice; social media is changing the communication patterns during the college recruitment process. Considering Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh's recently made news with his cryptic tweets about potential new additions to the Cardinals’ roster, recruits should recognize that college coaches are now reaching out in different ways.

Brian Davidson, Director of Social Media for the National Collegiate Scouting Association, NCSA, says potential recruits should also be reciprocating the new lines of communication with college coaches via social media. “In teaching both college coaches and student athletes about the advancements in social media, it became obvious that many college coaches and student athletes aren’t aware of how they can leverage these tools to reach out to each other,” says Brian Davidson .

Here are few points of advice that Brian Davidson has for both college coaches and student athletes:

For college coaches:

Capitalize on free resources. Many schools aren’t actively involved on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or a supplementary blog for their program. For programs with budget constraints, social media tools offer a no-cost way to highlight their program!

Build up hype with fans and potential recruits. As Coach Harbaugh demonstrated, social media can be used to generate hype among fans while still abiding by NCAA rules. College coaches need to be proactive on these mediums to be better recruiters and reach out in a way that recruits and their fan base understands.

Leverage social media to showcase your program in new and unique ways. Blogs and social networks are a great way to build relationships and allow recruits an insider’s look into your program. It also allows you to feature your program at its best, and it adds some personality that a traditional website cannot provide.

Play around with it! Many coaches get overwhelmed with the thought of managing social media, but I advise them to start off slow and play around with it, and you will naturally engage with interested audiences.

For student athletes:

Do your research. Research the blogs and social media of coaches and programs of interest to you. You will learn additional information not offered on a traditional website which can be valuable in future communications with the coaches.

Have a recruiting specific Facebook account. Be knowledgeable of the information on your personal Facebook page and make sure it is professional or at the very least privacy protected. Take it a step further and establish a recruiting-specific Facebook account.

Have your highlight video and athletic resume online. Utilize all online opportunities for exposure such as posting your highlight video on YouTube or registering on athletic recruiting sites that are actively searched by coaches.

Let coaches know you are active on these sites. Don’t forget traditional forms of communication to alert college coaches that you are active on these social media sites. It’s another way to build relationships with coaches.

Davidson will be speaking at the upcoming 3rd Annual National Collegiate Recruiting Conference, dedicated to making college coaches and Athletic Directors better, more informed and more confident recruiters, in Chicago , Illinois this upcoming Friday, July 16th through Sunday, July 18th.

National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA): Since 2000, NCSA has quickly grown to be the leading collegiate recruiting source for more than 35,000 college coaches and more than 10,000 verified college athletes from across the country. With a rate of more than 90% of NCSA athletes succeeding to play collegiate athletics, NCSA is the leading educational resource for parents, athletes and coaches who are involved in the recruitment process. Through the educational resources on their website,, and more than 1,000 presentations of the critically acclaimed seminar “College Recruiting Simplified,” the organization has helped over 1,000,000 athletes and parents learn about the process. NCSA’s new book, “Athletes Wanted” furthers this education by sharing the tools for maximizing athletic scholarship and life potential.

Visit for more information.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Win Forever

New book on the NAYSI Bookshelf

Pete Carroll says in his new book WIN FOREVER: Live, Work and Play like a Champion (onsale next week): "I know that I'll be evaluated in Seattle with wins and losses. That is the nature of my profession for the last thirty-five years. But our record is not what motivates me. Years ago I was asked, 'Pete, which is better: winning or competing?' My response was instantaneous: 'Competing...because it lasts longer."

Carroll might not be motivated by wins and losses but he is one of the most successful coaches in football today. He's also one of the most controversial.

Carroll illustrates his points with inside stories of working with coaching powerhouses including Lou Holtz, Earle Bruce, Monte Kiffin and Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings. He also shares stories of the Win Forever football program and its effect on players including Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer and Troy Polamalu.

Win Forever is not just about football and not unique to exceptional coaches and players. It provides a basic blueprint and way of thinking that can elevate a business, a family, an individual to experience the joys of performing at their best.

Please visit


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Joe Black - baseball pioneer

After The Boys of Summer

Baseball Pioneer’s Remarkable Life Beyond America’s Pastime

Book: Meet the Real Joe Black

Joe Black was a baseball pioneer. He was the first black pitcher to ever win a World Series game and roomed with Jackie Robinson while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Black was the 1952 National League Rookie of the Year and was prominently featured in the classic book The Boys of Summer. Yet baseball was just the tip of the iceberg in the inspirational life of Joe Black. He was also the only former major leaguer to become a full time public school teacher and the first African-American executive in the transportation business.

In the new book Meet the Real Joe Black: An Inspiring Life - Baseball, Teaching, Business, Giving, author Steven Michael Selzer chronicles the life of Black, from major league baseball player to public school teacher and, later, to vice president of Greyhound. As Selzer’s teacher, coach, and mentor until the end of his life, Black became a trusted friend and symbol of selflessness. He greatly influenced the author’s life, law practice, and family and also the lives of many friends, acquaintances, and former colleagues as well. Among them are Bill Cosby, Sandy Koufax, Bob Costas, Joe Garagiola, Dusty Baker, Jerry Reinsdorf, and Jerry Colangelo, all of whom contributed stories to the book.

“Mr. Black wasn’t just a teacher of health and physical education,” says Selzer. “What he truly taught was character education. Being responsible. Being reliable. Acting with civility. Most people who knew Joe Black would say he was a person of great integrity who could be counted on to do the right thing in any situation.”


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NAYSI Bookshelf - Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness: Understanding the Game of Life
by Dr. Timothy S. Wakefield


New book provides invaluable tips on how to face life’s challenges head-on

At 100 pages, Mental Toughness – understanding the game of life, by Dr. Timothy S. Wakefield, could possibly be the shortest and most helpful book you will ever read. Based on the idea that life is a ‘mental game,’ Wakefield guides readers through 61 short chapters offering tips on how to come out on top, and actually ‘win’ the game of life.

“People must be mentally strong to reject the distractions that impede success,” says Dr. Wakefield. “Many times I think people look back and find out the answers to their challenges in life too late. Why build a legacy of ‘I should haves’ throughout your life when you can do those things now!”

Although the book began as a letter Wakefield and his wife would share with their children at graduation, it turned into much more.

“I wanted to teach my children about the things that it took me 40+ years of listening to my family, friends, mentors, taking seminars, reading books, listening to the tapes/CD’s, etc. to learn to achieve success and happiness,” notes Wakefield. “With hundreds of self help books, CD’s, DVD’s and seminars out there for adults, I decided to develop something that is applicable to all ages.”

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons Dr. Wakefield teaches is that there is as much good as there is bad in the world. With negative news and worldwide crises surrounding us daily, it can be difficult to focus on the greatness and sheer majesty of life.

Mental Toughness – understanding the game of life is a truly universal self-help book that can positively benefit people from age 1 to 101. It can be used for self-analysis or to assist, develop and guide others. Parents can read the book to help themselves and their children. Grandparents can use the book the help themselves, their children and their grandchildren. Everyone can learn how to find a positive in every situation and can apply the tips to their own lives, regardless of age.

Mental Toughness – understanding the game of life dissects the following themes:

* Positive ways to respond to negativity
* The ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ areas of life and how to balance them in order to stay in control.
* Male and female relationships— how to understand and embrace the differences in the opposite sex
* Six steps to becoming a successful, respected leader
* How to control your attitude and use it to your advantage

About the author:

Dr. Wakefield has published books, articles and taught multiple programs in the area of sports injuries, physical fitness, health wellness, occupational health, athletic development, motivation, etc. He has been a guest on several radio shows.

Wakefield is a firm believer that the ‘mental game of life’ is ‘teachable and learnable.’ Before a person can teach the game of life a person must understand the game of life. To implement these life skills it is Dr. Wakefield’s opinion that people must be mentally strong to reject the distractions that impede our success. Thus the name of the book: Mental Toughness – understanding the game of life. Dr. Wakefield is married and a father of three.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

NAYSI bookshelf - Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy

Book Review

Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.
by Thomas B. Gilliam, Ph.D.

Facing the (Food & Fitness) Facts:
11 Myth-Busters to Help You Take Charge of the One Thing You Can Control These Days

With the dismal economy keeping you upset and the stressful holiday season looming, you may be searching for something you can control. Fitness expert Tom Gilliam suggests you take charge of your health—but first you must reject some persistent dieting and exercise myths.

Hudson, OH (November 2008)—No doubt about it: Most of us have never felt less in control of our destinies. The stock market is bottoming out and no one knows what to do about it. Jobs are down, food prices are up, who knows what's going on with gas, and to make things even more expensive, the holidays are upon us. Mix all these factors together and you have a recipe for runaway stress and anxiety. But according to Tom Gilliam, there is one thing you can control: your body weight. That's right. Now is the time to get fit, lose any extra pounds that might be hanging around, and develop the habits that will keep your weight at a healthful level over the long term.

"Soothing yourself with comfort food and spending hours on the couch obsessing over TV news reports won't make the economy better, and they certainly won't make you better," says Gilliam, coauthor (along with Jane Neill, R.D., L.D.) of Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.: The Simple Truth About Achieving & Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight (Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy., LLC, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0-9762703-5-5, ISBN-10: 0-9762703-5-8, $19.95). "If you want to feel more in control, take charge of your health. Not only will you feel better physically, your emotional state will improve as well."

Here's the problem, says Gilliam. Because we tend to live in a dieting-obsessed, "quick fix" society, most of us have absorbed some common misinformation that might actually be hindering our fitness goals.

"To really be successful, you must first debunk the myths that you might have read on the Internet or received as advice from friends or coworkers," says Gilliam.

Think you know your stuff? Read on for the revealing answers to common weight loss blunders that might trip you up in your quest to get healthy:

MYTH #1: Weight loss is all about the cardio. Anyone who believes cardio exercise alone will burn off the pounds hasn't gotten up an hour early every day for two months to hit the treadmill...only to be disappointed when the scale doesn't budge. While it's true that cardio is highly beneficial, you won't really see results until you add equal amounts of strength training to your exercise plan. That's because muscle burns more calories than fat in a process called protein metabolism.

"Quite simply, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn each day," says Gilliam. "Lifting weights is also critical as you grow older, because it will prevent you from losing muscle. In short, keep the cardio but add the strength training. The combination will help you to burn the fat and calories you desire in a healthy and balanced way."

MYTH #2: Salads are the best choice for healthy eating. A salad full of fresh vegetables can be packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, but depending on what else you throw on top, it can also be loaded with calories. For most people, cheese, croutons, and salad dressings are a must, but often these salad accessories are high in fat and calories, practically negating all the healthful veggies that lie underneath.

"Many people don't know that because of all of the extras they add, salads at fast food restaurants can contain more calories than a hamburger," says Gilliam. "Be conscious of the extras you're adding to your salads. If you can't stick to the vegetables and a light dressing on the side, you might be better off choosing a small burger and an order of fruit or a plain baked potato."

MYTH #3: Vegetarian = Healthy. When we hear the word "vegetarian," we automatically assume it's healthful. But the reality is that dishes at restaurants that are labeled as such can be deceiving to patrons trying to make a conscious choice about their meal.

"Many vegetarian options replace meat with flavor boosters like mayonnaise, cheese, and dressings, causing the calorie count to soar," says Gilliam. "Be wary of the ingredients in vegetarian dishes. Just because it sounds healthful, doesn't mean it is."

MYTH #4: Reduced fat means low in fat. It's easy to be persuaded to pick up items at the grocery store or out at restaurants that are labeled "reduced fat." But before you assume that reduced fat equals low fat, consider what the food's original fat content may have been.

"The FDA says in order for a label to claim a food has 'reduced' fat content, it must contain 25 percent less of the nutrient than the regular product," says Gilliam. "If an item contains 10 grams of fat, it need only reduce its fat content to 7 ½ grams to qualify for the reduced fat label. So, while it has less fat than its original counterpart, it's only marginally more healthful, and may still contain more fat than you need to consume."

MYTH #5: Fresh is better than frozen. With an increasing number of products being marketed as "organic" and "fresh" as part of the current health food trend, it can be easy to assume that fresh foods are naturally better for you than frozen ones. However, we forget that in order for the so-called "fresh" food to get to the stores, it often has to travel long distances from its place of origin. During the journey, fresh fruits and vegetables can lose some of their nutritional value. Fruits and vegetables that have been flash frozen (or even canned!) immediately after harvest maintain their nutritional value until they are consumed. As a bonus, frozen and canned goods can be much less expensive to buy when they are out of season, helping you to stay healthier year-round.

But if you still prefer your fruits and veggies fresh, Gilliam has these words of advice for you: "If you are able to buy locally grown produce, you should," he says. "Garden-grown foods do have the best flavor, and if it's grown locally, you can be sure that the time between picking and eating is reduced."

MYTH #6: All fat is bad for you. For years we have had it drilled into our brains that fat is public enemy number one when it comes to losing weight and staying fit. And it is true that you want to avoid saturated fats such as those found in fried foods, sweets, and full-cream dairy products. However, if you avoid all fat all the time, your body will be missing out on important nutrition that it needs to function properly.

"Of course, you should never overindulge, but you do need healthy fats in your diet to be on the top of your fitness game," says Gilliam. "Great options include moderate servings of nuts, seeds, and fish. Keeping your fat intake in check will make for a healthier lifestyle than one with no fat at all."

MYTH #7: If you exercise, you need to consume a sports drink. While sports drinks can be beneficial for those individuals involved in long continuous exercise routines (lasting more than 2 hours) or working out in a very hot and humid environment, most of us Average Joes and Jills don't need them. True, these drinks have electrolytes that are critical for normal body function such as muscle contraction and heart function, but these same electrolytes can be obtained from our daily diet. So unless you are exercising in extreme conditions or for an extended period of time, water is a better way to go.

"What people often forget is that sports drinks contain calories, which in many cases cancel out the ones you just burned during your workout," says Gilliam. "Stick with water. You'll get all the hydration and none of the added calories."

MYTH #8: You should work out as much as possible. If exercise has overall health benefits in addition to contributing to weight loss, the more we exercise, the better—right? Not so. Weight lifting should be done only every other day, three days a week. That's because strength training breaks down muscle, and the day off between workouts allows time for the muscle to rebuild. You should also be careful not to overdo it on cardio. Too much can cause excess wear and tear on your tendons and joints, which over time can lead to joint pain or discomfort, especially in the knees, lower back, and shoulders.

"You simply need to remember to give your body time to recover from its workout," says Gilliam. "Consider taking a day off once or twice a week as an 'exercise holiday.' If you abuse your body, you will have difficulty achieving the results you are looking for. Keep in mind the new federal guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine when you plan your workout routine for the week. It recommends 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week plus your strength training. It may seem cliché, but the saying rings true—slow and steady does win the race."

MYTH #9: Stretching before exercising is critical. It's no secret that stretching after a workout can be beneficial and improve results. However, many people mistakenly assume that stretching before a workout is good as well. The truth is that stretching before a workout does not actually increase our range of motion, as previously thought.

"Warming up is actually a better pre-workout exercise than stretching," says Gilliam. "Great warm-up activities are running in place and jumping jacks. They will get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Save the stretching for after your workout and look forward to maximizing your results."

MYTH #10: Your weight is the best way to tell if your "get healthy" efforts are working. Research is clear that weighing yourself every day is critical to a weight loss program, but many people don't realize that taking their waist measurement is just as important. A simple tape measure can tell you what kind of progress you are making and can sometimes be a better indicator than the scale.

"We've all stepped on a scale that won't budge and wondered why our weight isn't going down even though our clothes are feeling loose," says Gilliam. "Here's why that happens. When you first begin to exercise, two things will happen: 1. You will gain muscle mass, which is good, and 2. You will lose fat weight, which is also good. The increase in muscle mass offsets the loss of fat, which is why the scale has not changed, but your tape measure shows an improved waistline. This process occurs for about the first six months of your exercise program, and then finally the increase in muscle mass levels off or plateaus but your fat loss continues, which is then reflected on your scale."

MYTH #11: If you're sick, you can get better by sweating it out. Many people think that a great all-natural cure for what ails them is to hit the gym and try to "sweat out" their illness. "That's just not the case," says Gilliam. "If anything, it will only slow the recovery process. And chances are you won't benefit from your illness workout in any other way, because your performance will likely be below par. The best thing to do when you're sick is to take a break from exercising. Allowing your body to recover will quicken your response to the illness and get you back to working out at full steam before you know it."

"Successful weight management is really about education and mindfulness," says Gilliam. "It means rejecting the myths and making a conscious choice every day to eat the right foods and get the right amount of exercise. And there really is a tremendous satisfaction in making that choice. Once you realize that you can pursue and achieve good health, you'll feel calmer and more in control. Getting healthy is truly empowering. Whatever the future may hold, you're taking the best possible care of yourself—and that's a great feeling in any economy."

# # #

About the Authors:

Thomas B. Gilliam, Ph.D., is the founder and president of T. Gilliam & Associates, coauthor of the book Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.: The Simple Truth About Achieving & Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight, creator of the Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.® wellness program, designed to teach workers how to achieve a healthy body weight, creator of, and founder and owner of Industrial Physical Capability Services, Inc. (IPCS).

Since 1982, Dr. Gilliam has designed and managed many corporate fitness centers ranging from 500 square feet to 34,000 square feet. He has established a variety of wellness programs to deal with such health issues as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, physical inactivity, stress, osteoporosis, low back pain, and many more.

In addition, Dr. Gilliam is a pioneer and acknowledged expert in the field of dynamic strength testing for industry based on the sports medicine model. Since 1982, he has provided isokinetic physical capability assessments for Fortune 1000 companies through his company Industrial Physical Capability Services, Inc. (IPCS) ( Dr. Gilliam's programs have dramatically reduced workers' compensation costs and decreased injury incidence and severity rates for major industrial clients. In addition, Dr. Gilliam has been instrumental in identifying and presenting to industry the higher risk for injury and disease caused by obesity in the workplace.

Dr. Gilliam is the creator of the Heart "E" Heart program, which is a healthy lifestyle program for children and their families. He was the principal investigator in a National Institutes of Health research study investigating the impact of physical activity and nutritional habits on heart disease risk in young children. Conducted in the late 1970s, this research resulted in numerous scholarly publications and television and radio interviews throughout the world, including NBC's Today Show and NBC's Nightly News with its science editor, Robert Basel.

In 1973, Dr. Gilliam earned a doctorate degree in exercise physiology with a minor in graduate statistics and research design from Michigan State University. From 1974 to 1982, Dr. Gilliam was a tenured faculty member at the University of Michigan. Before resigning from his tenured faculty position, he was involved with numerous funded research projects (i.e., N.I.H., Kellogg Foundation, State of Michigan, and others) that resulted in twenty-nine refereed scholarly publications.

Jane C. Neill, R.D., L.D., is the 2004 recipient of the Nutritionist of the Year Award for the State of Alabama Public Health. She is an active member of the American Dietetic Association and currently employed by the Alabama Department of Public Health, where she works with the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program as a WIC coordinator and a licensed dietitian. She has worked in the WIC program for over ten years, providing daily nutrition counseling for women, infants, and children.

While on the staff as a registered dietitian at the University of Michigan Health System in the late 1970s, Jane was instrumental in working with Dr. Gilliam as an investigator on the National Institutes of Health research study to investigate the impact of physical activity and nutritional habits on heart disease risk in children ages six to eight years.

Ms. Neill is a member of the team that developed and wrote the Heart "E" Heart program for children and their families.

She received her bachelor's of science degree from the University of Alabama in 1977 in food, nutrition, and institutional management. Ms. Neill has been working as a registered dietitian for over twenty-seven years.

About the Book:

Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.: The Simple Truth About Achieving & Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight (Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy., LLC, 2008, ISBN-13: 978-0-9762703-5-5, ISBN-10: 0-9762703-5-8, $19.95) is available in bookstores nationwide and through all major online booksellers.

For more information, visit

NAYSInote: Jack Hutslar, author of the NAYSIblog, is a life long chub who has fought the battle of the bulge since he was old enough to understand dieting - since age 12 or 13. Right now he is losing the battle. Interestingly enough, every diet program he has ever tried has worked. The problem is that he always goes off the program after losing weight.

Can you guess what has put him back on track. Nope. It is not having those sculpted six pack abs shown in the TV commercials. It has been his desire to play tennis in a reasonably efficient manner. Well, when he gets inspired, he will go back on the diet and get back down to those trim 180s.

What is the lesson he imparts. Get involved in one or more sports that you find enjoyable and then work to become reasonably proficient at it/them. . . . jack