Active Voice: Athletes and the Arts - Make a Difference!
By Randall W. Dick, M.S., FACSM
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.
Randy Dick, M.S., FACSM, is a past member of the ACSM Board of Trustee. He worked for 20 years with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, managing its sports medicine and injury prevention programs. He now serves on the US Lacrosse Sports Science Committee and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. In 2008, Randy joined Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, where he is working with real-world data and health outcomes. Two of his current consulting projects are Athletes and the Arts (AATA) and Major League Baseball injury surveillance/research.
AATA is a collaborative enterprise aimed at better understanding health, physical performance, and physical activity needs unique to performing artists. ACSM is one a founding sponsor, helping to establish ideas for the development of research, education, and wellness interventions to meet specific needs of performing artists. In this issue, SMB is pleased to share Randy’s perspective on the goals and activities of AATA. He presents an extensive description of the issues and plans for this novel initiative in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of ACSM’s Current Sports Medicine Reports. The article is available online for full-text access through the end of February.
Performing artists are athletes. Just like all athletes, they:
Launched at the May 2013 ACSM Annual Meeting, ATHLETES AND THE ARTS) is a multi-organizational initiative recognizing that athletes exist throughout the performing arts community and that established practice, wellness and injury prevention research for sport athletes also is applicable to performing artists.
Jonathan Batiste, a talented musician, is the first ATHLETES & THE ARTS artist in residence and is promoting the initiative throughout his current U.S. tour.
“You play in a barroom, people are smoking; there are long hours; practicing, you carry equipment to your gig. The idea of all of this (health needs) is foreign to the music community, from the conservatory level to the level of street performers and everything in between.” - Jonathan Batiste
Through AATA influence, The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), representing 644 schools of music, recently created its first–ever Health and Safety Standard that reads, in part:
It is the obligation of the institution that all students in music programs be fully apprised of health and safety issues ... inherent in practice, performance, teaching and listening...
While the standard applies to every NASM school, most institutions do not have the knowledge or resources to address these issues. There is a great opportunity for ACSM members to collaborate with their local schools of music through this standard to develop specific health and safety guidelines. Collectively, this effort can enhance the knowledge and wellness of 100,000 music students annually and the future generations they touch, through both performing and teaching.
Performing artists of all ages and genres are underserved in aspects of health care, injury prevention and wellness. ACSM members can fill this gap by applying their existing knowledge of treating sport athletes while gaining a better understanding of the performers’ unique needs and environment. By integrating the science of sport and Exercise is Medicine® concepts, you can expand your impact to a new population that desperately needs your help.