Whether it be the daily commute or early morning cardio, cooking dinner or doing the chores, walking the mall or relaxing poolside on a weekend – podcasts are a great way to conveniently sneak in a little extra learning for the week. In this weekly installment, I share with you a shortlist of listen-worthy podcasts – old and new – to check out this week. Enjoy!
This week I’ve chosen to share with you two podcast episodes – each from separate podcasts – that share a common theme, one that is incredibly interesting, and is certainly pertinent to today’s baseball landscape.
The theme: Tommy John Surgery… From the perspective of the athletes that have gone under the knife.
We, the supposed “experts” (strength coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, pitching coaches…) and others who indirectly deal with elbow injuries (youth coaches, parents, fans…) all have our own opinions as to why Tommy John seems to be reaching an epidemic level.
Ironically, though, it’s those that directly deal with elbow injuries – such as a UCL tear – the athletes themselves, that we rarely care to hear from. They may not be able to regurgitate the science behind why their arm hurts, why their UCL fails, or what risk factors may have contributed to their injury, but they certainly can explain what it’s like to experience arm fatigue, arm pain, and ultimately arm injury. And, while each medical professional and coach only deals with a specific portion of the Tommy John process before handing the athlete off to the next professional, it is the athlete that can best give us insight into what the entire process of Tommy John entails, from start to finish.
For that reason, I feel it is important to share these two invaluable podcasts – one which was just released by Mike Reinold last week, and one that is slightly more dated from Dr. Chris McKenzie:
The Ask Mike Reinold Show – Episode #25 – Professional Baseball Player Experiences with Tommy John Surgery
Mike and his staff bring in a handful of current professional baseball players to have a roundtable discussion about their experiences with a UCL tear, and the subsequent surgery and recovery process. Among those professionals is Tim Collins, the high-profile reliever for the Kansas City Royals, who is currently rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery.
While the players themselves give great insight into what they felt leading up to the breaking point for their UCL, what the pain/symptoms felt like upon reaching that point, and how their mentality evolves throughout the recovery process, it’s Mike and his team that bring a second punch of knowledge by interpreting these experiences into medical/scientific contexts.
Physical Therapist Dr. Chris McKenzie interviews a current player at Penn State University, Christian Helsel, who discusses his experiences with Tommy John surgery, and everything leading up to and following it. What makes this one a bit unique is that Christian is a corner-infielder, so his insight provides interesting insight into what the rehab process is like coming from a position player – something that isn’t commonly documented or discussed.