OJ Howard Got Da Juice Football Camp


Encore Sports Medicine was proud to be a sponsor of the O.J. Howard Got Da Juice Football Camp held at Autauga Academy, Prattville, Alabama, June 16-17, 2018.

O.J. Howard is a former Alabama tight end who has just finished his first season in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is his second year to hold the football camp. Two hundred kids participated in this year’s event.

O.J. was quoted in the Montgomery Advertiser as saying, “I’ve thought about doing something like this when I was playing here (Autauga Academy),” Howard said. “It’s a blessing to be able to host a camp at my school and to see so many familiar faces. It’s a dream come true.”

In addition to the camp, O.J. also made a $20,000 donation to his alma mater, Autauga Academy.

Encore Sports Medicine is proud to be
the Official Provider for Athletic Training Services
for the Alabama High School Athletic Association,
as well as numerous high schools and colleges
throughout Alabama and Mississippi. 

Want to know more about Encore Sports Medicine?
Click here or contact Gary Barfield at 404-933-4336.

Encore Sports Medicine Symposium – July 13-15, 2018 in Orange Beach, Alabama for Athletic Trainers, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coaches, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Ortho Technicians

Jaxon Wilson – Athlete of the Month for Encore Rehabiltation-Haleyville

Jaxon Wilson Photo Haleyville Revised

Congratulations to Jaxon Wilson, Athlete of the Month for Encore Rehabilitation-Haleyville!

Jaxon plays youth T-ball. His baseball jersey is #21. He is in First Grade. Jaxon is the son of Jeremy and Cassy Wilson.

Way to go, Jaxon! Have a great baseball season!

Encore Rehabilitation-Haleyville
42465 Highway 195
Haleyville, Alabama 35565
Find Encore Rehabilitation-Haleyville on Facebook by clicking here

Meet Haleyville Physical Therapist Assistant, Barry Haisting, by clicking here

Heights Heroes 5K

Encore Performance Rehab was proud to be involved with the Heights Heroes 5K held October 14, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. This event supports the Vestavia Elementary Cahaba Heights PTO. The weather was perfect for a fall 5K. Congratulations to our very own, Erik Marchase, for placing 1st in his age division and 5th Place overall! Awesome job, Erik! We appreciate everyone for coming out to support the event!

“Baseball Injury Prevention” – by Encore ATC, Eric Oehms.

“Despite the lingering cold temperatures that February often brings us in the South, February is a time where those of us in sport medicine often turn our attention to spring sports.  With spring comes longer days, warmer sun, greener grass, and the sounds of baseballs hitting the leather.  Youth baseball is right around the corner and if you haven’t already been doing so, it’s time to get the arm in shape to prevent the early season injuries and soreness that often occurs.

Here are some tips from Pitch Smart USABaseball to prevent throwing injuries and avoid the overuse injuries we commonly see:

  1. Play multiple sports, not multiple teams.  Playing multiple sports throughout the year helps to enhance general fitness and aid in motor development,  while playing on multiple baseball teams with overlapping season results in decreased rest.  This can lead to an increased risk of overuse injuries and the inability to monitor pitch counts
  2. Allow time to rest and count pitches.  Pitchers should not throw for 2-3 months per yr and avoid competitive pitching for 4 months per yr.  Check out the age specific pitch count guidelines at
  3. Do not pitch on consecutive days, regardless of pitch count totals.  Studies have shown that pitchers who pitched on consecutive days were 2.5 times more likely to have arm pain.
  4. Avoid pitching while fatigued.  While this may be difficult to spot for some, it’s imperative that a young arm is not forced to pitch through fatigue whether it’s in a game, a season, or over an entire year.  According to ASMI, youth pitchers who routinely pitched through fatigue are 36 times more likely to need elbow or shoulder surgery at some point in their baseball career.
  5. Avoid excess throwing while not pitching; specifically avoid playing pitcher and catcher.   Allow pitchers to play other positions but catcher.  The pitcher/catcher dual role players are over 2.5 times more likely to suffer arm injuries according to ASMI.
  6. Avoid using a radar gun. Using a radar gun on the youth level simply encourages a pitcher to throw hard, at maximum effort when they should be learning how to change velocity.

The common theme on the tips above is apparent; give your pitchers the rest they need and avoid year round, max effort pitching.  A pitcher should try to get outs, not try to throw every pitch as hard as they can.  Visit for more tips on risk factors in pitching.”


1. Federation Internationale de Medecine du Sport/World Health Organization Ad Hoc Committee on Sports and Children. Sports and children: consensus statement on organized sports for children. Bull World Health Organ. 1998;76(5):445–447.

2. Andrews, James MD, Risk Factors for Injury, Pitch Smart USA Baseball, 2014,

“Overtraining and Injury in Youth Athletics”

By Marc Bernier, MPT CSCS

 The environment of youth athletics has undergone a major transformation over the past several years, most notably in the manner in which kids train for their respective sports.  Unfortunately, the changes that have occurred are not always necessarily for the better, as the injury rates in youth athletics are increasing, as are the severity of injuries.

One potential cause for these increasing injury rates that has been identified by medical professionals is overtraining.  There are many factors that can play into overtraining; however, there are 2 components that are particularly concerning:

  1. Specialization” in a single sport during the early childhood years.
  2. Failure to provide adequate recovery from the physical stress of the sport season.

In all actuality, these two factors are actually closely intertwined.  In today’s competitive climate of youth athletics, many kids are pushed towards dedicating themselves exclusively to one sport at a young age, with the thought being that the more training they get in that specific sport, the more they will excel (this thought actually goes against the recommendations of the top sports performance enhancement specialists who promote the idea of youth athletes being encouraged to compete in multiple sports until their freshman or sophomore year in high school, at which time specialization is more appropriate).  As a result, sports such as soccer become a year long endeavor, in which kids are playing the same sport for 10-11 months of the year (it may take slightly different forms, such as outdoor, indoor, etc).  Unfortunately, this is a faulty approach for two reasons:

1. By participating in the same sport throughout the year, the same repetitive physical stresses are placed on the relatively fragile growth plates and soft tissue structures (muscles, tendons, ligaments), resulting in overuse injuries.

2. Participation in a single sport can limit the overall athletic development of kids.  All sports have unique skills and movements that require the development and utilization of different muscle groups, and in vastly different ways.  This is especially true for the core and trunk muscles; participation in “upper extremity” sports such as baseball, tennis and basketball will train the core in a much different manner than “lower extremity” sports such as soccer.  It has been theorized that playing in multiple sports may actually increase kids’ overall athleticism and make them “better” athletes.

Simply put, we do not provide our kids enough time to rest, nor allow their joints enough time to recover from the physical stresses their bodies endure during a season (not to mention the fact that kids today typically train harder and more frequently than current adults did in their childhood).  Recovery time is absolutely essential for athletic growth; without it, the structures of the body are continually broken down, inhibiting strength and endurance potential, and ultimately athletic potential.

In an ideal scenario, children should have a two week period after the season is completed of minimal activity.  After that has passed, participation in a different sport is acceptable, as that sport will not have the same physical stresses, and will be less traumatic to the joints of kids.  If a child does not participate in another sport, some form of cross training can be performed to maintain baseline fitness levels.  Some recommended activities would include: cardio workouts on stationary bikes, stairsteppers or elliptical machines; swimming; pick up basketball; or simple jogging.

Kids should be encouraged to take a break from sports, and having a free weekend every once in a while is a good thing!

  • **Marc Bernier is the Clinical Director of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation for Encore Rehab at the Inverness Clinic and Spain Park High School.  Marc has served as an international sports medicine consultant specializing in the field of rehabilitation and conditioning for European based professional soccer clubs, and is a national lecturer on the management of youth sports injuries.  He can be contacted for any questions at