The Damage I Have Done to Myself

Abstract from this article in the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, which was based on a speech given at the 2009 National Collegiate Athletic Association Colloquium:

Thirty years after graduating from Stanford University, Mariah Burton Nelson looks back on her experience as a star college basketball player and marvels, Why and how did I damage both knees so severely that it is now impossible to walk downstairs without limping? Is lifelong disability an inevitable consequence of college sports? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that college athletes not only learn how to stretch and push their bodies, but also how to care for them?

Nelson describes what she calls physical intelligence (the ability to listen to the body’s subtle signals and respond wisely to them). She calls on college coaches and athletic trainers to openly advocate for the long-term health of their athletes, even if such advocacy results in fewer team victories. She asserts that ultimate responsibility for the health of college athletes rests in the hands of those athletes themselves, who can develop physical intelligence the way they develop sports skills: through practice.

See article here: The Damage I Have Done to Myself

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