Saturday, September 17, 2011

Report from USAS Convention - Sports Medicine, Russell Mark, House of Delegates

Since my last post I have gotten to do a little more than just take the Athlete Protection Training (yeah! I passed!).  I got to attend a couple of interesting presentations and workshops....and the House of Delegates.

Yesterday morning I attended a Sports Medicine/Science workshop that centered on nutrition.  I am usually bored to tears at these kind of Q and A/panel discussions.  This one was actually filled with information that I found quite interesting.  The discussion focused on a couple of things

  1. The importance of Iron in the diet.  I have known that red meat is the best source of "usable" iron. But I also learned that all Iron supplements are not the same.  I still don't know much about it, but I do know that there are a couple of choices that are better than others
    • Solgar's - Gentle Iron
    • NatureMade - ferrous sulfate
    • First Endurance
    • Centrum Performance
  2. It is not a bad idea to have blood drawn once a year, during a general physical, and have an Iron profile performed.  Since it takes 6 weeks to 6 months to affect Iron levels in the blood, it is a good idea to track your baseline levels.
  3. We all know the importance of staying hydrated and maintaining proper electrolyte balance, but you need to know whether you are a person who loses a lot of salt when you sweat.  Swimmers might not know this because they are in the water when they sweat.  It may be more important for some swimmers to replenish the sodium relative to other electrolytes.  Check the sodium content in sports drinks, and take note of the sodium levels.  Remember, that if the concentration of sodium is higher in a particular sports drink, that it will take longer to be absorbed.
  4. Looking for some good sources for sports nutrition?  These were mentioned:
    • Australian Institute for Sport
    • (if you are looking for good sports nutritionists)

I attended a presentation by Russell Mark in the afternoon.  Russell is a part of the National Team Staff and is an amazing analyst and source of information.  He has a knack for finding the common traits in the techniques of the top swimmers in the US and the world.  I love his analysis.  He presents things in a manner that is easy to understand.  He gives you the facts and supports it with the video that he uses to analyze each stroke/start/turn.  He is not guessing or creating hypotheses.  He is just presenting the results of his research.  If you are looking for specific statistics, numbers, analysis, he is your guy.  I am glad he is working for us at USA Swimming.

There are two parts of the House of Delegates meeting.  The first part is a recognition/awards presentation.  I will not regurgitate the list of honorees.  If you would like to know who was recognized, I recommend going to the USA Swimming website.  The second part the House of Delegates deals with legislation.  There was not much controversy and most of the legislation from legislation packet (see the USA Swimming website under Governance) was passed or rejected based according to the recommendations of the Rules and Regulations Committee.  I think the most significant legislation centered around bullying.  I encourage folks to read the legislation (as amended) once it is posted on the USA Swimming website.  I have a feeling that this year's meeting went much smoother than last year (when all of the Athlete Protection legislation came forward).

I am looking forward to attending the convention again next year in Greensboro, NC.  Gotta stay involved if I want to make a difference.

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