KICKOFF! HSS and IMG Academy begin collaboration with the NFL Combine Training Program
On December 29th, HSS and IMG Performance began an exciting, new partnership that commenced with on-site sports physical therapy services. Rob DiGiacomo, Director of the HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Sports Performance program, oversees the HSS rehabilitation operations at IMG Academy.
While most of the country was enduring an unprecedented deep freeze, the activity at IMG Academy (IMGA) was getting heated up with the arrival of top-level former collegiate football players with their intent on training for the upcoming NFL Combine in February. The new HSS-IMGA Sports physical therapy team, consisting of physical therapists Jorge Giral and Matt Morgan, joined HSS physical therapist Peter Draovitch to provide thorough musculoskeletal and functional assessments of these elite athletes. These objective analyses formed the foundation of the player’s training program by identifying key areas of weakness and potential injury that need to be addressed during their 4-6 week stay. Our PT team would then interface with a world-class multidisciplinary team of athletic trainers, strength and speed training specialists, position coaches, and many others to come up with the most effective success plan for these athletes.
The NFL Combine Training program is one of many at IMGA programs that highlight the importance of the new partnership between HSS and IMG Performance. HSS is an internationally recognized leader in the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of the injured athlete. IMGA is a world leader in maximizing athletic potential through their physical and mental performance training programs. The alignment of these two organizations offers athletes a complete experience at a magnificent 450-acre facility in Bradenton, Florida. The proud academic grounding that both institutions embrace will yield co-branded education programs and clinical research around such important topics as optimal return to sports following injury, identifying factors that pre-dispose to athletic injury, and maximizing athletic performance.
HSS clinicians and physicians will have the opportunity to share expertise with our IMGA colleagues in treating other elite athletes of the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, NCAA, and Olympic/Para Olympic athletes from around the world. In addition, HSS’ extensive experience with the young athlete is critical with care delivery to IMGA’s 900+ on-site boarding school and the perpetual camp populations that frequent the campus. The bottom line is the HSS-IMGA partnership provides a platform for applying the best medical, surgical, and rehabilitation practices with the best performance and athletic development practices on the field with some of the world’s established and emerging elite athletes.
The weather may be cold, but the future for the HSS-IMGA partnership and the benefits to athletes of all ages is red hot.
Robert DiGiacomo, Doctor of Physical Therapy and NATA Certified Athletic Trainer, is the Director of the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Rob provides oversight of all sports rehabilitation and performance based programs at HSS, and will also be providing operational oversight of sports rehabilitation services for HSS at IMG Academy. He served as an isokinetic testing assessor for the 2008 NFL Combine, medical co-chairman for the 2002 and 2012 JCC Maccabi Games – Philadelphia venue, athletic training services coordinator for the 2005 Philadelphia Women’s Triathlon, and medical staff of the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York City Marathons.