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Welcome to the Men’s Water Polo 4 Nations tournament in Thousand Oaks CA in March of 2012! Our goal at this tournament is to gain an understanding of the kinds of injury and the mechanics of injury in Water Polo. In this post our guests will talk about one of the most common injuries in the sport: the shoulder!
As water polo is gaining popularity in the US, and is already widely popular globally, many of you may be seeing more patients with such injuries (and they are at a high risk of injury: both overuse injuries and battle wounds!)
One of the very unique components of this sport is that the athletes do not have a ground reaction force upon which to generate power. Their feet are not on the ground, as in the golf swing or the baseball pitch or basketball/volleyball jump. Yet, at times the water polo athletes elevate themselves about waist high out of the water in order to throw the ball or defend a position (please note picture of the goalie and thrower above). Now, how do they do that — especially without some risk of injury??!!!!
In order to discuss this topic properly, we are fortunate to have some real experts! Coach Terry Schroeder, the Men’s Olympic Water Polo coach, and 2012 US National Team members: attacker Brian Alexander and center John Mann to lead our discussion.
A little insight: coach Schroeder was a 3-time Olympian (2 silver medals) prior to taking on the men’s Olympic team as head coach for the Bejing games. Before he assumed this position, the team was not expected to make it into the 2008 Olympics. But, under this coach’s thoughtful, gentle yet provocative leadership, they won a last minute spot into the ’08 Games at the Pan Am Competition in Brazil. They were the underdogs at the start of the Olympics in China. Fast forward, though, to the end of the games, and you’ll see the team on the podium with the silver medal in their hands! The team is now ranked # 6 in the world, and ready to compete and win in London 2012.
Coach Schroeder is a nominee to the Olympic Hall of Fame. For more details on Terry’s Olympic history, here is a link, and if you are as impressed as I am with his track record, please cast your vote prior to April 9!
Click on the image, bellow, to watch a short interview with Coach Schroeder & team members –and please excuse the blooper! In my excitement I referred to the upcoming games as “2002″ instead of 2012
Thanks so much, coach, Brian and John, for that excellent demonstration and sharing with us the mechanics of injury to the shoulder injury in water polo.
As we part for today, we at EDUCATA thank you and are very proud of all you’ve accomplished – all of you have reached inward to find your very best and have reached outward to understand the very best that each team members has to offer so that you all count on each other and make a true TEAM.
Now several of you were on the team that won the Silver Medal in Bejing — and Terry, as we’d mentioned, has won the silver twice as a competitor. So, at some level, I can see you guys are just ready to burst through the ‘silver’ lining and go for the gold. May we at EDUCTA offer you a mantra? We all know the saying of ‘leaving your past in the dust’. Well, as you move forward, may you ‘leave Silver in your dust, and hold Gold in your hands!’
Now it is your turn. What would you do if you had a water polo player/patient come into your office tomorrow with a shoulder injury? How would you evaluate this athlete and what treatment/education –and ultimately exercises– to prevent future injuries would you provide?
In the meantime, here is a link to an article on Water Polo available to you from EDUCATA. It’s free! Just register as a member and go ‘library’.