athletic training

142 : Dance Medicine w/ Athletic Trainers, Marissa Piloto & Monica Lorenzo

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I have always been more of a dance in the privacy of your own home kind of guy, but some people dance nearly every waking hour of every day. For these individuals, dance is more than just a spontaneous event in their day, its a lifestyle, its a sport and they can never get enough. Just like how professional football, baseball and basketball players dedicate their lives to their craft, elite dancers are no exception. People would be up in arms if there were no sports medicine providers at football, baseball and basketball games, but these services have only recently been afforded to professional dancers. This week I chat with two Athletic Trainers who work with these elite dancers and help to keep them both healthy and performing optimally. Marissa Piloto is the Head ATC for the Brooklynettes Dance Team, Brooklyn Nets Team Hype and Brooklyn Nets Kids Dance Team. Marissa and I go back to our days working as students for the Rutgers Football team. Monica Lorenzo, who is the Head ATC for the Knicks Entertainment Teams, Founder & President of ROMO Fit. Inc also joins us in this episode. It was so much fun learning about the field of dance medicine and the innovations both of these women are working on to bring attention to this underserved population. Below is a list of topics we touch on throughout this episode:

Marissa with her Brooklynettes. Photo courtesy of Marissa Piloto.

Marissa with her Brooklynettes. Photo courtesy of Marissa Piloto.

  • Why the art of dance is a sport.

  • How both Marissa and Monica got into athletic training for dancers.

  • The need for highlighting the comeback in the world of dance.

  • Why dancers are extremity in-tuned with their bodies and how that helps the ATC’s who treat them.

  • The similarities between track and dance athletes.

  • Culture of toughness in dance and the dancer mentality.

  • The shift in the dancer mentality over that last few years.

  • Misty May’s Achilles injury on Dancing With The Stars and how this led to changes on the show.

  • The evolution/history of dance medicine.

  • Advice for athletic trainers who want to get into dance medicine.

  • Common dance injuries.

  • Why concussions are also a problem in dance.

  • The worst injuries they have seen in dance.

  • Why it is not just lower extremity injuries dancers have to worry about.

  • Waffle Crew NYC on Ellen – Marissa’s Crew

  • Why dancers are willing go to practice after practice and the unique challenge this presents for athletic trainers.

    “This is your one body and it is not going to last forever if you keep grinding it into the ground.”- Monica

Monica with her NY Knicks Dance Team. Photo courtesy of Marissa Piloto.

Monica with her NY Knicks Dance Team. Photo courtesy of Marissa Piloto.

  • “Someone is waiting in the wings for you to fail”- the pressures in dance culture and how the mentality is changing.

  • The importance of getting the athlete’s whole story before working with them.

  • The unique challenges dancers are presented with in their return to the stage after injury (particularly concussions).

  • How Monica and Marissa approach injury prevention training with dancers’ busy schedules.

  • “Fitting the image” and its effect on injuries.

  • Warm-ups and cool downs for dancers.

  • Custom prophylactic taping colors inspired by the Marissa and Monica.

  • Recovery tactics for dancers.

  • The science behind the cool down.

  • Getting a handle on emotions after injury.

  • The transition to life after dance.

  • Monica’s company, ROMO Fit – Post Rehab Strength and Conditioning

  • Body Ignition – the new injury prevention workshop Monica and Marissa have put together.

    • Connecting Mind , Body and Life'; bridging all of these together safely

  • Why saying no makes you tough.



Instagram | TWITTER | LINKEDIN | Romo Fit

Where Can you connect with Marissa?

Instagram | linkedin

Download Episode 142 : iTunes | Stitcher

139 : Sport Specialization & The Wisconsin Injury in Sport Lab w/ Dr. David Bell, Ph.D., ATC

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Dr. David Bell is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Kinesiology and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Bell earned his B.A. and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia. He teaches in the Athletic Training Program and serves as the director of the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory. His research is focused on identifying risk factors for knee injury including neuromuscular asymmetries and sport specialization. Additionally, he is focused on improving outcomes after knee surgery including refining rehabilitation strategies, return to activity guidelines, and risk factors for second ACL injuries.

He has athletic training clinical experience at the Division I and II levels as well as high school clinic outreach. He has over 35 peer-reviewed publications and 85 abstract presentations. His work has been funded by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine, and the American College of Sports Medicine. He was named the 2017 New Investigator of the Year for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation. His research was awarded the 2017 STOP Sports Injuries Award for best research paper on youth sports injury prevention at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.

In episode 139, the focus of our conversation surrounds the concept of sport specialization in youth athletics and the research aiming to prevent the very injuries we talk about week in and week out. Below, you will find a list of talking points Dr. Bell and I touch on throughout this interview.

Sports specialization prevalence peaks around age 14 or 15, 30% of 12 year olds are highly specialized.

  • What defines sports specialization and why it doesn’t just pertain to single sport athletes.

    • The Sport Specialization Scale (for each yes you get a point).

      • Do you train or participate in your primary sports more than 8 months a year?

      • Can you identify a primary sport?

      • Have you every quit sports to focus on a single sport? Do you only play one sport?

        • 3 = Highly Specialized, 2  = moderate, 1 = low

  • How Dr. Bell got into the Athletic Training profession and research specifically.

  • Background on Wisconsin Sports Injury Prevention Lab and it’s collaboration with the Badger Athletic Performance Lab.

  • Keeping the levels of risk in sport in perspective.

  • Findings from Dr. Bell’s research on sports specialization

  • School size affects prevalence of sports specialization.

  • The affect of club sports on sports specialization.

  • The socio-economic status’s influence on sports specialization.

“Parents are the number one reason kids choose a specific sport.”

  • Physical red flags of sports specialization.

  • Recommendations:

    • Kids don’t train or participate in a specifics sport for more than 8 months a year.

    • Avoid training or participating more than the athletes age in hours per week.

    • Two rest days per week.

    • Avoid simultaneous participation – same or different sports.

      • 80% of parents don’t know these recommendations exist.

“Previous injury predicts future risk.”

  • Why the 10,000 hour rule doesn’t apply to youth sports.

  • Early developers vs. late developers.

  • The odds on getting a return on your investment in your child’s sports participation via a college scholarship.

  • Discussion on one of Dr. Bell’s studies which found that concussions can lead to lower extremity injury - 2.5 x more likely.

  • Correlation vs. Causation

  • Why you should check your club coaches emergency preparedness certifications.


Twitter | Researchgate

Download Episode 139 : iTunes | Stitcher

138 : Animal Flow & Injury Prevention w/ Chris Flo, ATC

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Chris Flo is an Athletic Trainer, Founder of Flo Fitness, Creator of the Rooted Rehab Certification for Athletic Trainers and is an Animal Flow Master Instructor. I first met Chris when I delivered the 2017 Keynote speech at the ATSNJ Conference. We recently reconnected after I posted the Instagram video (below), which featured Washington Redskins Tight End Jordan Reed (who is coming off a foot surgery) performing the Animal Flow movement called a crab reach. The reason I initially felt compelled to repost the video was because I thought is was a display of toughness. Here is a guy who is doing whatever he needs to do to get his body right before he goes out on the field and he doesn’t care how he looks. After seeing my post , Chris reached out to give me some more information on Animal Flow and we decided to collaborate on this episode to teach you all about the various benefits of Animal Flow, which includes injury prevention.

Below you will find the various talking points we cover throughout this episode:

  • Break dancing, gymnastics and parkour’s influence on Animal Flow.

  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

  • Animal Flow founding principles.

  • How Animal Flow is rooted in science and is related to avoiding injuries like torn ACL’s

  • How Animal Flow can serve as a diagnostic tool for injuries or future injuries.

  • The importance of adding movement patterns to your arsenal.

  • Why not enough athletes learn how to fall.

  • ABC’s of Animal Flow

    • Ape, Beast & Crab

  • How Animal Flow improves an athlete’s body communication and awareness and why that translates to competition.


“You should be able to move this thing, its yours” (YOUR BODY)

  • Why strength is relative.

  • Functional range conditioning.

  • The spiritual aspect of Animal Flow.

  • Why Chris wasn’t surprised to See Jordan Reed doing animal flow on the sidelines

“Don’t Overflow.”

  • The power of doing things your bad at and the road to mastery.

  • How athletic trainers can use Animal Flow in their practice.

  • Why Animal Flow is like chocolate covered vegetables.

  • How Animal Flow can be easily implemented into warm ups.


“Stress is stressful.”

  • Chris’ Rooted Rehab Certification for Athletic Trainers.

  • Why the body as a system and shouldn’t be thought of as individual parts.



Website | Flo Vault | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | LINKEDIN | Youtube

Download Episode 138 : iTunes | Stitcher