Sunday, September 2, 2007

Heart checks

It seems the recent deaths in the soccer world may lead to some more awareness for players' physical conditions.

Some renowned cardiologists have brought some attention to the topic and want an increased number of routine tests on soccer athletes to try and detect heart conditions that may lead to distressing and possibly fatal situations.

It's a step in the right direction. Soccer is not going to change from the brutally physical sport it is. Perhaps unlike any other team sport, soccer is the most physically demanding and players may a heavy toll.

In a typical training session, soccer players run and run and run and then they go through some drills that might involve a soccer ball and then they run and run and run some more. Take that and multiply it by four (an average number of training sessions for many clubs) and then by 40 or so (an average number of weeks leagues are in play) and you get some idea of how much players run in training. Add to that however many games a team will play and that's a lot of running.

It only takes a small heart condition to put a player's life in serious jeopardy, but according to these doctors it only takes a small test to prevent that.

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