The Most Valuable Player
Mastery of five skills - base running, fielding, throwing, hitting for average and hitting with power - is the standard of greatness in a baseball player, and San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds has reached that mark.
Generally regarded as the best player in the major leagues today, he has proven himself, year after year, by raising his level of play to that of the all-time greats of the game. With a recent contract extension, he is now, befitting his enormous talents, the highest-paid player in baseball.
Bonds is a three-time National League Most Valuable Player, having won the award in 1990 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in 1993 with the Giants. He is one of only eight players in major league history to win three league MVP awards.
TRUSTING IN CHIROPRACTIC
During spring training, Bonds suffered an injury after tripping and falling down a flight of stairs at a rented home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He received chiropractic care, and MRI scans and X-rays of his back and hip proved negative.For the past two years, he has been a patient of Dr. Nick Athens, a San Carlos, California, chiropractor whoprovides care to members of the Giants and the San Francisco 49ers football team, and he first sought care after suffering an injury.
"I hurt my back swinging the bat," Bonds recalls. "Mark Letendre, our trainer, recommended that I try chiropractic. At first, I was skeptical, but after seeing a lot of the players on the team using it, I thought I would give it a try. And after Dr. Athens gave me an adjustment on the lower back, I knew I had to get some more of that."
The star outfielder was adjusted at the ballpark.
"I did the exam and everything there, " Athens recalls. "The team medical doctor said to go ahead and work on him and see if I could help him out. He was supposed to be out for that game, and we adjusted him and he responded excellently. He didn't miss the game he was supposed to miss (due to the injury)"
Bonds is convinced of the benefits of chiropractic adjustments.
"I go to see Dr. Athens on a regular basis, because I want to prolong my career as long as possible," he states. "I see him about once a week, in between my training (sessions). By getting an adjustment once a week from him, I feel I can sustain my career a lot longer."
He believes that chiropractic gives him and his teammates an edge in competition, and notes that, at times, "Dr.
Emmitt Smith Credits Chiropractic for Rushing Record
CHIROPRACTIC CARE IN PRO FOOTBALL
Fourteen years ago, Dr. Nick Athens of San Carlos, California, adjusted popular quarterback Joe Montana on the field during the Superbowl. The adjustment was caught on camera, shown on the evening news and Athens made history. |
Today, there are chiropractors on the staff of several NFL teams, but their official acceptance into pro-football has not been easy even though the services a chiropractor provides is unique and cannot be provided by any other member of the medical team.
Many players have been and are under chiropractic care on their own, but when one professional athlete of a certain stature claims that chiropractic has helped him to get where he is and keep him there, it is still news. Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys is one such athlete. On his way to the record books as the NFL's leading rusher, Smith credits his longevity in pro football not to his own ability but to his chiropractor, Dr. Rob Parker.
The New York Times, Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star- Telegram have all reported on Emmitt Smith's feelings about his chiropractor and what chiropractic does for him. The lead paragraph in the New York Times by Thomas George stated: "Two days before Emmitt Smith hoped to make his most memorable run, the one that would push him past Walter Peyton as the National Football League's career rushing leader, Smith lay flat on his back. It is a position Smith assumes on most Friday afternoons, with Dr. Rob Parker kneading the knots out of his body..."
Smith began to get weekly chiropractic care from Dr. Parker about seven years ago, after he was introduced to him by former Cowboys fullback Daryl Johnston. Now, he spends about two hours with Dr. Parker every Friday during the season and often gets adjustments two or three days a week.
An article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram explains it all started after the 1994 season when Smith endured a lot of hamstring problems and he began to ask himself some tough questions. "Do I need to get more rest? Do I need to eat better? Do I need a little more training? How can I take care of my body better? Do I need to find a chiropractor? It was time for me to invest in me," Smith said. "I found a specialist that's really good in balancing out my body to make sure my hips are rotated right, and my body is functioning properly. I remember somebody telling me that what I put myself in during the games is like having a car wreck every Sunday. It's against the norm. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of the health care, balance your body back out, put it back where it's supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster."
Dr. Rob Parker comes from a line of well-known chiropractors. He is the grandson of chiropractic icon Dr. Jim Parker, founder and former president of Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas and the world-famous Parker Seminars, and son of Dr. Karl Parker of the Karl Parker Seminars. He and his wife Kellie, who is also a chiropractor, have practiced chiropractic for 12 years in the Dallas area.
Smith has long praised Dr. Parker for playing a major role in his outstanding football career. The Dallas Morning News wrote: "Anyone who suspects Smith is exaggerating Parker's role in his career need only look at the 33-year-old running back's eyes when he talks about him." To the skeptics out there, Smith remarks, "...if you traveled where I've traveled, done what I've done and seen the results that I've been getting, then you'd understand where I'm coming from...
"I've learned so much about my physical body over the past seven years since I met the man (Parker) that I know when I'm not feeling up to par...I know when things are not balanced out right."
It is obvious that Dr. Parker has not only helped keep Smith's body "balanced" with regular care, but what is even more important is that he has made this super athlete understand the philosophy underlying the care he is receiving.
Tour de France Champion Depends on Chiropractic
Lance Armstrong is the first American to win the Tour de France three years in row. One of the methods he uses to keep in peak performance is chiropractic care. The chiropractor he uses to help him is Dr. Jeff Spencer. Dr. Jeff Spencer is no stranger to the sport. He is a former champion cyclist who competed on the 1972 United States Olympic Team as a sprint cyclist and he serves as chiropractor for the United States Postal Service Professional Cycling Team. According to Dr. Spencer, "My job with Lance and the team is to optimize the neuromusculoskeletal component of their training and, in the event of a crash, minimize down time and get them back in the race as quickly as possible. I adjust them as needed and guide them in choices of diet and supplements, which helps reduce the likelihood of injury." Chiropractic helps athletes perform better by removing interference to their nervous system known as subluxations. When the nerve system is free of interference the athlete can perform better. In a study conducted by the New Zealand School of Chiropractic, University of Auckland, New Zealand reaction times were improved and shortened in volunteer subjects that received chiropractic care over those that did not. The group that received the chiropractic adjustment showed a decrease in reaction time of 97 milli-seconds representing a 14.8 percent quicker reaction time. Considering these findings is it any wonder why Lance Armstrong and thousands of other athletes use chiropractic care to obtain their peak performance?
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Big Chiropractic Booster
Arnold Schwarzenegger was the headline speaker at the 9th Annual Symposium on Natural Fitness held March 2-4, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). A strong supporter of chiropractic and a chiropractic patient himself for many years."Arnold" told the group of chiropractors: "I depend on chiropractic and so does my whole family. . I have been making a movie in Mexico and all of us on the set saw the chiropractor to keep us going. All of the crew, electricians, stunt people, actors, all of us, were adjusted regularly by this great woman chiropractor who worked around the clock to take care of us all. That's what chiropractors do, take care of people like no other kind of healer."Each year the ICA's Symposium on Natural Fitness is held in conjunction with the "Arnold Classic" a bodybuilding and fitness event. At this event athletes and chiropractors from all over the world get together to celebrate health and fitness. Many of the top competitors from these events follow Arnolds lead by being regular chiropractic patients. Schwarzenegger, a chiropractic patient himself for years, summed his feelings for chiropractic up by saying, "It is truly one of the few professions that really helps people in a straightforward way with no monkey business, like some of the other professions promise to help, but this chiropractic is the real thing."
Celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Arnold Schwarzenegger use chiropractic on a regular basis. On the cover of the June 22, 2000 edition of TV Guide Insider, is a picture of Mel Gibson dressed for his upcoming movie "The Patriot". In that story they talk about how Mr. Gibson uses chiropractic on a regular basis. In the article he states, "I got a chiropractor to come along to the [Patriot] shoot, because they can actually stick you back together within 15 minutes. He used to come every other week, from Los Angeles to South Carolina - spend a week and work on the entire crew. All the stunt guys were like, Oh, fix my disc. He is putting their discs back in. The guy is amazing."