In the recent 2019 NBA finals where the underdog Toronto Raptors won their first and only NBA Championship, there were other major headlines surrounding the 6 game series then the victories themselves. I believe that no one can argue that had these instances not occurred then the result may have been significantly different. There were 2 career changing and series ending injuries that occurred in Games 5 and 6 that changed the dynamic of the gameplay. One injury happened to a player who most will agree at the time was the best player on the planet, Kevin Durant. The other injury was to one of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time Klay Thompson.
Injuries to the highest performing athletes In sports has been a common occurrence over the past few years. Because of this we are seeing the highest paid and most talented basketball players from various countries opt out of the world cup coming up at the end of August. The purpose of players doing this is to secure their long term future in the NBA and not risk injury in the pursuit of playing for their country. To most people these frequent shock injuries might seem strange since technology and advanced training techniques have been at an all time popularity.
A few simple reasons come to mind as to why this is happening. The first one is Food. Nutrients found in food is at an all time low. A small example is cashews. The magnesium content in cashews has dropped 70% since the 1970’s. This is all due to commercial farming. The spraying of pesticides and herbicides on crops and soil is affecting the nutrients. Fruits and vegetables grown out of this soil are seeing a tremendous drop in nutrient value. These chemicals also affect our meats, with the animals that we consume from either feeding off vegetation from the damaged soil or surviving off highly processed grains. Its also a topic of discussion as to the amount the steroids being used to improve animal size for selling, plus the use of antibiotics when the animals are sick which is causing more distress to the animals health than the decades before them. There has been proof that even our organic farms are not as nutrient dense as they once where. The reason being that the chemicals from neighbouring commercial farms are being transmitted through the air and onto the organic farms.
Interestingly enough, is how this is not only affecting our current athletes but how it will affect our future players. Studies have shown that eating highly processed foods affects the 2nd and third generations. The study which is published as Pottengers cats showed cases of deformities, illness, and even blindness in the cats as a result of eating processed meats, affecting the livelihood of descendants all the way down to the third generation of cats. You only need to ask yourself about the increasing rate of disease in the people around you to comprehend what is going on in our world.
The second reason of the frequent and serious injuries is the training programming and exercises that are being prescribed to athletes these days. Training has ‘supposedly’ taken leaps in improving performance. The use of balance training, electric machines and gimmicks have been implemented to what is supposed to be stimulating the co-ordination and strength of an athlete to succeed in a given sport when that skill is depended on. However, I am yet to see a study where single legged balance training for example can improve speed, agility and strength. I will bet all my money that the athlete becomes really good at single legged balance training but not actually a carry over to a movement in the sport. On the flip side you find numerous studies that improving the strength in a squat as another example can improve vertical jump, sprint speed and deceleration. Unfortunately, it may be another 10 years before research proves that all of these made up and so called creative ways to train an athlete are in no way superior to good old strength training. Training that was made famous by some of the worlds strongest men from the 1900’s is slowly making it’s way into combative sports and is being proven already to making athletes stronger in mixed martial arts as well as American football.
Athletes are athletes because they are already great at what they do. Most likely they are already highly skilled, strong and fast. All they need is a little guidance on how to prevent injury through improving the nutrients they consume and build their ability to train with weights properly. This information is not only going to greatly improve their strength but also their joint integrity, mobility and reactive forces on the ground. Improvements in these categories will improve an athletes, Strength, Agility and speed along with injury prevention and recovery time. That is a priceless amount to pay towards an athlete’s longevity in their sport.
There are a few simple steps to follow that will help you become the best version of yourself. If you’re an athlete or just want to help protect our future generations from disease and injury these changes can only have positive effects on you, you’re children and educating those around you. The first is to eat organic wholefood as much as you can by living by the 80/20 rule. 80% organic and 20% conventional. If you want a sure fire way to find which foods are the safest to eat, all you need to do is Google the clean 15 for your country. It is the top 15 foods that are the least sprayed with herbicides and pesticides. If you also want to know the foods to stay away from,then Google the dirty dozen for your country. These are 12 of the most chemically laden produce in your area.
The seconds tip is to find a great coach who will teach you the correct mechanics on the performance lifts that will make you stronger for your specific sport. Someone who also has the specialisation of some form of muscle release technique will also greatly improve mobility and prevent injury. Search for A.R.T Practitioners in your area.
The result of the drastic injuries that occurred this year in the NBA Finals will change the course of the NBA for years to come and has already started taking place. The planning of even more load management for its star players and possibly more rest days between games seems to be a move in the right direction for those involved. I wonder when they will look more at the off field circumstances affecting the athletes.
Kevin Durant will miss 12 months of action and he will aim to return the same player that he was before the injury, however statistics are against him. Most players returning from an achilles tear never seem to get back to their best basketball. Kobe Bryant, the most recent and probably best known basketball player was a victim to this nasty injury and like Kevin Durant, this happened while performing a move on the court. Kobe was soon to retire a few years later when performing at a high level could no longer be achieved. Klay Thompson will be out of action for 6 months with an ACL tear and history of that kind of injury is that it is more than likely to be re-injured. ACL tears are the most common injury in sports that we see today.
We can only hope that coaches tone down the affect they have on an athletes body and aim to only make it more durable. For your own information try and Google Kevin Durant’s shooting warmup routine. It consists of spins, pivots, single legged jumps and twists in the air. In my opinion, all of those movements should be saved for the sport and not be taking up mileage for the body in a workout or warm up routine. My synopsis is that in roughly 10 years from now there will be research into the measuring of some extent, the mileage a body can take before its at serious risk of injury. Hopefully we’ll see if making athletes stronger and looking more into their nutrition become more of a focus point and that they save all the other stuff for movements on the field, court or practice area.
On a note I do not know the extent of these athletes nutrition but as science has shown with the Pottenger’s cats study, is that it probably started with their ancestors 2 to 3 generations ago. Funnily enough that would take us back to the time of the rise of commercial farming in the U.S.
I hope this information has pointed a lot of people in the right direction to their health and performance. We are only as good as the fuel and knowledge that we obtain.