Neglect That Ended Two Careers

Updated: Sep 24, 2019



It's Saturday morning and I thought I would watch a 30 for 30 program so I started to search YouTube. As I scrolled through my options I came across an E60 presentation on J.J. watt. Had to watch it, one of the most powerful football players on the planet. A work ethic that is unmatched and a career that is exemplified by that effort. Sheer determination.

Watched another on "The Gronk" and his infamous ways and enjoyment for life. Thought it was time to get off the couch when I spotted another story on Tom Brady...

... the same old story on Tom Brady. Picked 199th in his draft year and has gone on to win multiple Super Bowls. There are so many great lessons associated to his career but the message that stuck to me had nothing to do with Tom - it is related to the other 6 QBs selected in the draft before him.

Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger and Spergon Wynn. Several names that I am certain you have never heard but two that could have had similar success as Tom. Chad Pennington and Marc Bulger, both left an impression on the NFL but as their careers started to blossom injury cut it short. We all know that this is the life of a football player, endless stories about "could have beens" that got hurt in this aggressive sport. Getting hurt from contact is all part of the game but the injury that ended their careers and so many others came from off the field habits.

TOMMY JOHN - the old rotator cuff issue. Rotator cuff issues are not only limited to those athletes that make a living with their arm over their head, it is a potential problem for anyone. Everything that we do is in front of us; drive a car, text message, watch TV, lift a box, etc. We are constantly in the push motion that extends our arms out in front of us and often inside our body frame. This causes a "rounding of the shoulders", bad posture and subsequentially limitation to our shoulders natural movement pattern. Just try this - stand up and let your shoulders fall forward, with your arms hanging straight down your thumbs are probably pointing in at each other. From this position bring your dominate arm straight out and up like you are painting the wall in front of you. How far can this arm go up before you start to using other muscles to assist in the process?

Now, lower the arm back down and bring your shoulders back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together like you are holding a pencil between them. Now repeat the same arm motion. Were you able to get more range of motion with little to no effort? Most likely. This shoulder posture is the natural position in which your arm moves inside the shoulder joint and minimizes the strain on the rotator cuff muscles.

The shoulder is very complicated and is asked to do one of the most stressful mechanical actions in great repetition. For overhead athletes in baseball, volleyball, tennis and football, the shoulder socket is asked to consistently perform a violent motion that can cause stress on these little muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Simply put, the shoulder is surrounded my bigger and stronger muscles that are constantly trying to pull it forward and form that "rounded" posture. To maintain a healthy shoulder, we are asking 3 very small and neglected muscles to combat that motion. These muscles are being stretched like a rubber band and get minimal time in their natural state. Without proper maintenance the available space in the shoulder socket is minimzed and the tip of your arm starts to rub and grind on the rotator cuff causing tears in these muscles that lead to discomfort and sometimes surgery.

With all the lessons of perseverance and determination that surround the Tom Brady story, why did the story of Pennington and Bulger stand out? You guessed it, I went down that same road. Two surgeries, daily physio and my shoulder basically taped in place - the shoulder joint is literally and figuratively - quite close to my heart.

With my QBMAD program each player gets a better understanding of the importance of a maintenance and conditioning program isolated on the shoulders. They will learn proper form and technique for better shoulder stability, flexibility and strength resulting in a healtheir and more powerful throwing motion.


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