PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- Student-athletes and their families are faced with plenty of difficult issues and decisions - from learning how to train properly to staying healthy, budgeting time and whether to specialize or play multiple sports.
With an eye toward educating parents and athletes on a number of critical topics, Northern Westchester Hospital and Athlete's Warehouse teamed up to present a youth athlete symposium Thursday evening at the Athlete's Warehouse in Pleasantville.
Presenters included University of Alabama Softball Coach Patrick Murphy (the keynote speaker) and experts from Athletes Warehouse & NWH, including: Dr. Victor Khabie, Chief, Sports Medicine; Dr. Eric Small, Pediatric Sports Medicine; Dr. Peter Richel, Chief, Department of Pediatrics; Dr. Stuart Elkowitz, Orthopedic Surgery; Chari Hirshson, Neuropsychologist; Sarah Todd, Physical Therapist; Nicholas Serio, General Mananger, Athletes Warehouse; and Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Athletes Warehouse.
"I'm here to learn more about training," Walter Panas High freshman Julia Petrovich, a softball and basketball player, told Daily Voice. "I play two sports, so there is different training for both, they'll focus on some of that. I think they'll definitely have some useful information."
"Athletes these days usually start to specialize early, and a lot of times they don't know how to train or recover properly," Walter Panas senior softball player Danielle Petrovich added. "At Athlete's Warehouse they focus on teaching the athletes how to train, how to recover."
"We need to learn to control how much they play," Dr. Stuart Elowitz. of Northern Westchester Hospital, there to discuss preventing overhead (throwing) injuries, said. "They need to take proper time off, cross train in the off season. Play soccer, develop your lower extremity foot skills - that's important in all sports," he added.
Keynote speaker Patrick Murphy talked about culture, and as an athlete - to always love the person first and the athlete second. "For parents of student athletes, always remember: person first, athlete second. There are too many times where it goes the other way - athletes first."
Murphy said that when that happens, a student athlete's self worth can get too wrapped up in athletic performance. "If they go 4-for-4 they feel good about themselves, but if they go 0-for-4, they think they're horrible. We're trying to dispell that."
Trying to simplify and clarify the abundance of information - and misinformation - available was another focus of the symposium, and the experts at Athlete's Warehouse.
"There's so much info available that it can become confusing to a parent, a kid or even a coach," Cassie Reilly Boccia, of the Athlete's Warehouse, said. "We're hoping to get rid of some of that ambiguity about what is or isn't good for an athlete. And hopefully people can start to see Northern Westchester or the professionals that are here at Athlete's Warehouse as a safe haven... an avenue they can trust for critical information."