Local athletes learn about injury prevention from Olympic gold medalist

Posted at: 03/23/2013 7:25 PM
Updated at: 03/24/2013 11:20 AM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Young athletes from all over the area got some much needed advice from rehabilitation specialists on Saturday and they were also treated to a special visit from one of Rochester's most decorated Olympians.

It's advice parents and young athletes in our area should know.

Olympic pole vaulter and Riga resident Jenn Suhr was among the guest speakers at the University of Rochester's Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Seminar.

Local athletes got the chance to not only meet the gold medalist, but to speak to specialists about the importance of protecting their bodies while they train.

The main goal on Saturday was to teach these athletes about injury prevention and the main focus was on younger athletes.
Specialists say even though these athletes are enthusiastic about sports, at the end of the day they are still young.

They say teaching these athletes to protect themselves right now is critical for their future as athletes and for their over all health.

Her autograph means the world to her fans here in Rochester, but teaching local athletes the difference between training hard and training smart means the world to her.

“That's the part that's important to me. You know, I want to interact and I want to hear and I want to help whenever I can and now I have that opportunity,” said Suhr.

Suhr joined several experts at the University of Rochester to teach local athletes about injury prevention. She says she wants these young men and women to learn from her mistakes.

“I know had I taken the steps earlier in my career and even in high school and college, preventing injuries and keeping them, then I don't think I'd have nagging ones that bother me today,” said Suhr.

The athletes also got tips from several specialists.

“From sports psychology and nutrition and from some of the trainers and therapists from sports medicine, who can really kind of give them some more specific training tips for the sports they are involved in,” said Dr. Maloney, Department Chief of the URMC Sports Medicine Program.

Dr. Maloney says the goal is to encourage young athletes and help them understand how stress can effect the human body.

“They are still young growing bodies and they need time. They need to be able to allow their bodies to recover while they are growing,” said Maloney.

The message was clear. Learn about your body and listen to it and for many of these athletes, the time to do that is now.

“We really need to pay attention to these young athletes, make sure that they are having fun. Make sure they are learning the proper techniques and how to do things and how to train themselves and hopefully keep them out of my office,” said Maloney.

Shur says she owes a lot to the U of R because they have helped her a lot throughout her career. She says they know the importance of getting an athlete back on track.