Improving on the delivery of athletic health is an important for society, NCAA official tells CBU audience
Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2016) – NCAA works to provide student-athletes a good athletic experience and part of that is addressing wellness in addition to health and safety issues that confront student-athletes, said Dr. John Parsons, director of the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute.
Parsons spoke on Sept. 20 at California Baptist University as the College of Health Science kicked off its 6th annual Distinguished Lecture Series. Parsons, a nationally certified and state licensed athletic trainer, has spent more than two decades studying, practicing and teaching sports medicine and athletic training.
Parsons addressed issues facing student-athletes and those providing care for them. The priority areas of concern at the sport institute include concussions, cardiac health, mental health and athletics healthcare administration.
“Our job at the NCAA is [ensure] the student-athletes get a good athletic experience, but also that they come out of that experience healthy and well and prepared for a productive life after sport,” Parsons said.
Additionally, Parsons noted that improving on the delivery of athletic health could have a positive influence in society. It will also have a trickle-down effect on the way young athletes are treated.
The Sports Science Institute works with health professionals and the schools to determine the best way to prevent injuries and treat student-athletes. The organization then makes recommendations called “best practices,” which instructs institutions how they should provide care.
“If you practice as a [medical provider] for the next 30 years, you’re going to have to change the way you deliver care,” Parsons said. “What we do as athletic trainers today will be very different than what we do in 15 years, all because the standard of care will change.”
Recent recommendations from the institute included reducing the number of full-contact football practices, helping coaches become aware of possible mental health issues and working to ensure both coaches and athletic directors do not influence decisions of athletic trainers and team physicians, Parsons said.