Strength and Conditioning Programs for Student Athletes – PediaCast 539

Show Notes


  • Jesse Padgett and Anthony Bartko visit the studio as we consider strength and conditioning programs for student athletes. Summer is the perfect time to stay in shape and prepare for fall sports. We share tips for safe and effective programs. We hope you can join us!


  • Strength Training
  • Conditioning Programs




Announcer 1: This is PediaCast.




Announcer 2: Welcome to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. And now, direct from the campus of Nationwide Children's, here is your host, Dr. Mike.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to PediaCast. It is a pediatric podcast for moms and dads. This is Dr. Mike coming to you from the campus of Nationwide Children's Hospital. We are in Columbus, Ohio.


It's episode 539 for June 13th, 2023. We're calling this one "Strength and Conditioning Programs for Student Athletes". I want to welcome all of you to the program.


So summer is here. Spring sports have finished up. And while some student athletes will be playing in summer leagues (traveling, baseball, and a softball come to mind), many others will have a choice to make during the break. They can take it easy, play video games, swim in the pool, get a summer job, all great things.




However, sneaking in time for a summer strength and conditioning program is also a good idea. Now, you may be wondering why. Well, there are many benefits to strength and conditioning programs. We know that de-conditioning can happen pretty rapidly over the summer months. So these programs will keep student athletes in great shape between their sports seasons.


But they have other benefits, too. Strength and conditioning programs have been shown to build muscle mass, reduce body fat, improve cardiovascular health, mental health, and quality of sleep. And they can improve performance and reduce the chance of injuries during subsequent sports seasons.




Strength and conditioning programs come in many varieties. You will want to find one that is specific to student athletes and supervised by well-trained adults such as certified strength and conditioning specialists and certified athletic trainers. We have two of these very people joining us today as we consider strength and conditioning programs for student athletes.


Jesse Padgett is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Also with Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's is Anthony Bartko. He is a certified athletic trainer.


Before we get to them, let's cover our usual quick reminders. Don't forget, you can find us, really, wherever podcasts are found. We're in the Apple and Google podcast apps, iHeartRadio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon Music and most other podcast apps for iOS and Android. If you like what you hear, please remember to subscribe to our show so you don't miss an episode.


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So let's take a quick break. We'll get Jesse Padgett and Anthony Bartko settled into the studio. And then we will be back to explore strength and conditioning programs for student athletes. It's coming up, right after this.






Dr. Mike Patrick: Jesse Padgett is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Anthony Bartko is a certified athletic trainer. Both work with Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital. And both have a passion for supporting student athletes as they participate in strength and conditioning programs.


That's what they're here to talk about, strength and conditioning programs for student athletes. But first, let's offer a warm PediaCast welcome to our guests, Jesse Padgett and Anthony Bartko. Thank you both for stopping by and visiting with us today.


Jesse Padgett: Thank you for having us.


Anthony Bartko: Thanks for having us.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. Really appreciate both of you stopping by. So I think most people have heard of an athletic trainer before, which, Anthony, that's what you are. Jesse, you're a certified strength and conditioning specialist. How is that different than an athletic trainer?


Jesse Padgett: The athletic trainers, they more work on the medical side of things and heavily involved in rehab and return to play. Where certified strength and conditioning specialist is more of your strength conditioning coach or sports performance specialist. We work directly with athletes in terms of team sports as a whole.


Now. we work alongside athletic trainers as athletes come back from the training room and transition back into the weight room. We obviously work together and communicate quite a bit about what the limitations of the athlete are and things they can and cannot do.


Dr. Mike Patrick: So folks who may be interested in this as a career, is this a different pathway than you take if you're going to become an athletic trainer? Or is this like a specialization beyond that, or it's a completely different thing?




Jesse Padgett: I think with the undergrad stuff, I think it's very similar. Athletic training in general, I think Anthony can probably speak a little bit more to this, is a specific track. Some schools are now starting to offer masters in strength and conditioning. It's starting to become a little bit more popular in terms of profession.


But, my background is in exercise science. So most of our strength coaches and sports performance specialists have a pretty heavy background in exercise science.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Great. That makes sense. So let's talk about summer, since we are here at the early part of summer. And it seems that this is a nice time to think about being involved in a strength and conditioning program if you're a student athlete. Why is summer, Jesse, a good time to do this?


Jesse Padgett: I think that summer is one of the best times, because there's more time available, right? In the school year, there's a million things going on. Our student athletes are involved in a lot of different things, whether it's heavy in the school and studying. Multiple sports, some of our athletes, they don't just play soccer in the fall. They play soccer in the spring along with baseball and other things.




So there's a lot going on, but in the summertime, aside from vacations, there's just more time to train and can do so, I think, over a longer, more consistent stretch.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And especially if you're in Ohio, there are places where the weather is nice all year long, but here, summer definitely lends itself to being able to get outside and do especially conditioning programs out there.


And I guess one other thing is, other than traveling baseball and softball, it seems like there's not as much going on in terms of sports you can participate in. And so, if you're going to stay in shape kind of between the spring season and the fall season, summer would be a pretty good time to do that, right?


Jesse Padgett: Absolutely. It gives you an opportunity to truly have, for some of our athletes, it's really the only time they actually have an off-season, whether or not doing something. So you're able to go back and revisit some of those speed qualities you want to improve on. Maybe setting a better base and conditioning foundation for the following year or just resetting for strength and conditioning.




If you train like an in-season athlete year-round, you need some time to rebuild that foundation and work through more volume that you don't get in-season.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. So we're talking about strength training and conditioning programs. Let's kind of break those up now because they are sort of different things. Let's start with strength training. Explain to us exactly, Jesse, what that is and why it is an important thing.


Jesse Padgett: Strength training, it's also known as resistance training, right? It's the type of exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an outside resistance. That resistance can be dumbbells, bands, body weights, medicine balls. Really, your imagination is free to go as far as you want to go. You can be as creative as you want, so as long as you're providing an external resistance.




Dr. Mike Patrick: So we're not always just talking about free weights. There are lots of different things that you can use as the resistance, including your own body, right?


Jesse Padgett: Yeah, absolutely.


Dr. Mike Patrick: The weight of your body. I mean, basically what you're doing, if you do a pull up, you're using your body as resistance to the muscles in your arms. And so then, Anthony, who benefits from strength training? It's not just for people in strength intensive kind of sports, right? Like you think of wrestling and where you need some strength, but really, there are benefits for everyone, right?


Anthony Bartko: Oh, yeah, for sure. I mean, everybody is the short answer to that question, right? Everybody could benefit from some type of strength training. But especially when you look at our active populations, our student athletes, they benefit from it, obviously, from the physical perspective, getting stronger.


But then, also, it's got a variety of other health benefits such as injury prevention, mental health. It always helps with that. It's kind of an avenue to release any kind of stressors and hopefully deal with stress in a healthy way.




And to just kind of do that strength training consistently is pretty much the key word. A lot of people are going to get caught up in the numbers. "I got to lift 400 pounds, be heavy, be strong, right?" You're going to get that compounding effect and you're going to get stronger over time. And having a properly credentialed person such as Jesse is going to really help that out.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. As I was researching this show, I was really surprised at all the benefits of strength training. You'd mentioned some of them. Of course, you increase muscle mass and strength, but also improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density, it stabilizes and protects joints, reduce body fat. As you mentioned, mental health benefits, even the quality of your sleep at night, can be better if you're involved in a strength training program.


So even if you're not a student athlete, this may be something that can be helpful and healthy. But again, as you mentioned, you really do want it to be supervised and make sure that you're doing it in a safe way.




And then, that brings us to our next question, and I think a lot of people have this, especially for the younger student athletes. Is resistance training or strength training safe for them to participate in it? At what age can they start to be a part of that?


Anthony Bartko: Yeah, it's absolutely safe for young athletes granted, under the proper supervision of a properly credentialed individual such as Jesse. These guys are going through a magnitude of training. It takes a lot to formulate a proper strength and conditioning program and be able to put that cycle together.


And before even doing that, teaching the proper form to those young people. A lot of people, like I said before, get so caught up in numbers and bending the bar and all that stuff. And sometimes being more ergonomic with the lift makes it better. But yeah, exposing your young person to strength training at an early age can really help.




Jesse, can you speak to the age that the research is showing that they should really start strength conditioning?


Jesse Padgett: Honestly, I think the best way to answer that, as long as they are mature enough to follow instruction, I think, is whatever age that may be. For some, it's younger, for some it's a little bit older. But again, you want to keep things safe and safety in mind. It's not just to the individual that is exercising, but it's also those around them.


So if they are unsafe and treating it as if it's a playground, somebody else could get injured as a result of their immaturity. So there's not a really specific age. But I think as long as you're mature enough to follow instructions, then it's 100% safe.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And that's going to be really important for young kids to follow directions. And at what age kids can start to do that maturely is going to really be different from one child to another. And parents are going to know probably best their child's ability to follow instructions and to behave themselves.




In addition to being safe, we also want kids to have fun. And so I would suspect that if you make the program enjoyable, satisfying, meaningful, challenging, all of these things, they're going to keep wanting to come back for more. And so that's another reason not to have it just, especially with these younger kids, something that just amounts to a bunch of repetitions, you really want them to have some fun with it, right, Jesse?


Jesse Padgett: Absolutely. I mean, it has to be engaging, right? I mean, nobody wants to do things that's not fun and that they don't enjoy. So you have to strike a fine balance between achieving the goal that you're trying to get out of them, but also making it to where they're enjoying doing it. Because anybody can make anybody tired, but at the end of the day, that's not the ultimate goal.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. So if you were putting together a pediatric strength training program, Jesse, what important guidelines would you say really need to be in place to make it safe and also effective?




Jesse Padgett: Yeah, there's a few things that I would look at. One, kind of like Anthony had alluded to earlier, is you have to have a qualified person running it for one, that has a pretty good awareness of maybe what the individual athletes limitations are, what their training age is, not their biological age. Those things are going to go into it


And I think the important thing is just focusing on quality movement patterns. Our young athletes, they don't need to be under the bar, squatting, heavy, doing those kind of things. Like body weights, squats do just fine.


A lot of their adaptations are going to come from they're going to be more neuromuscular driven as opposed to from a response to hormones. You know what I'm saying? So I think that's where it has to start.


And then, thinking of it as a total body and not training them like bodybuilders. They're kids, it just has to be fun. Simply skipping on the playground can have a lot of benefits. It can have a big transfer over to other speed components. So just doing different things that may seem, "Oh, it's just stuff they do on the playground", but it can have a different response.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And by the way, we did a PediaCast, and especially if you're involved in strength training programs and you're listening to this program, we did one on our CME podcast, which is Continuing Medical Education called Physical Activity and Strength Training. It was PediaCast CME 69.


And we really go through the eight basic principles of a pediatric strength training program in lots of detail. And so I'm going to put a link to that in the show notes. It's a little heavy on the science because that particular show is geared toward pediatric providers.


But if you're involved as an adult supervising a strength training program that student athletes are a part of, that episode would definitely be something that you would want to take a listen to, as you're thinking about how to set up and run a strength training program that's going to be safe and effective. And again, I'll put a link to that in the show notes over at for this episode 539.




And then where can student athletes find these kind of programs? I would imagine some schools offer them. Of course, here at Nationwide Children's we do offer one and we'll talk a little bit more about that, but we have listeners all around the country, and it's really going to be different places that offer these. How can you find somewhere to participate, Jesse?


Jesse Padgett: I think that's a great question. I think it can come down to a few different things. I mean, for me, one of the governing bodies as a strength and conditioning coach or a certified strength conditioning specialist is the National Strength and Conditioning Association. They do have a directory of all of their certified coaches.


They have another aspect to it so that if you've been involved in sports performance, they have what's called a registered strength conditioning coach directory as well, which I am also credentialed in. I think it lends itself to be a great resource as you could go to that website, type in your state, and they would give you a list of people that are certified. And from there you can kind of dive in to find out where they're located and kind of do those things.




For us, I think it's great that at Nationwide Children's, we have phenomenal coaches. So if you're in Central Ohio, reach out to any one of us and we'd love to explore that a little bit more.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And I'll put a link to that website in the show notes so folks can find that easily. We're going to have lots of resources for folks. I mentioned that CME program, physical activity and strength training, PediaCast CME 69.


We also did another one on resistance training that I think was an interesting one, back, it was a while ago, but still pretty good information. Episode 212 and I will put a link to that in the show notes.




And then a couple of resources from the Nationwide Children's website, "Strength Training for Children", "Is Strength Training Safe for Kids?". Both of those written by our sports medicine team.


And then a wonderful up-to-date article if you have access to an up-to-date subscription called "Physical Activity and Strength Training in Children and Adolescents: An Overview". And again, if you're running a strength training program, that may be something worthwhile to check out. So we'll put all of those links in the show notes over at


So let's switch gears a little bit and talk about conditioning programs. Anthony, how are conditioning programs different from strength training programs?


Anthony Bartko: Well, they're different because conditioning, obviously,  focuses on your cardiovascular health right? It's going to focus on your more sport specific movements, mobility. And it's just important to athletes just to be able to get their body moving, take what they're learning in the weight room, and transport it into a field, right? That's where you're going to really start to see those benefits take off.


It also includes aspects of proper warm-ups and cool downs, plyometric and power work, speed training and sprint techniques. So it's a very critical aspect of teaching kids how to move properly and use all the strength that they just gained in the weight room during the off season and transporting that onto the field.




Dr. Mike Patrick: If you think about medical science, it's kind of like the difference between doing something in the research lab and then translating that into actual practice when you're engaged with patients a little bit.


Anthony Bartko: Right. And also being able to move that into, you can practice that in your off season as well. There's a lot of things you can do just on a wall to learn how to run properly and make you faster.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And of course, there's going to be different skills depending on what sports that folks are involved in. When we talk about strength training, Jesse said, as we think about student athletes, it's going to be better to work all the muscles rather than just focus on a particular set. But as we're doing conditioning, is there a little bit more specialization depending on what sport someone wants to be conditioned for? Or is it still an all-around thing?




Anthony Bartko: It's a little bit of both. Obviously, you want to learn how to run properly for all sports, right? Soccer player is going to sprint after a ball just as much as a cross country runner is going to try to get that last kick and the last end of the race. Two different sports, two different types of muscle fibers. But could both benefit from a similar drill, right?


But there are going to be different aspects of it. You're not going to have a cross country runner doing a bunch of plyo box jumps all the time. Jesse, correct me if I'm wrong, but that just doesn't seem pretty practical to me. They are kind of similar but different, to answer that question.


Dr. Mike Patrick: So I have a million-dollar question for you. If you're going to be involved in a conditioning program, is stretching important before you start?




Anthony Bartko: Oh, absolutely. And I'm so glad you asked that question because in 2023, it blows my mind that I go onto a football field and I still see kids doing static stretches before an activity.


It just baffles me that there's all this research out there and it's very well known among many common folk that aren't in medicine. They're like, oh yeah, we should probably be doing some more dynamic stretching beforehand, right? Getting the body moving, getting it primed and ready to be active at a high level.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah. So those stretches and drills that you see football players doing on the field before they're throwing the ball around, that's really an important thing.


Anthony Bartko: Oh, yeah. It's going to help reduce your injuries for sure.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And that's where conditioning programs are so important. We talked about some of the benefits of strength training. And a lot of those also are the same benefits that you get from conditioning.


And we talked about reducing body fat, supporting mental health, sleeping better, cardiovascular health. And as you say, you reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance. And so why would you not want to be involved in a conditioning program, especially if you are a student athlete and involved in participating in team sports or individual sports?




Anthony Bartko: Yeah, absolutely. If you look at some of those "overuse injuries" we see, imagine those shin spins probably won't happen if you're not sedentary all summer, if you're not laying around the house playing video games, right? And you're out there and you're, just like Jesse was saying, skipping around the playground or jumping, moving, putting pressure on those bones. It does translate in those muscles. It does translate into reduction of injury because those structures are becoming used to the stress.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And Jesse, I would imagine that as you have a student athlete being involved in strength training and conditioning, hopefully that translates into their adult life as well, in terms of just staying active and being involved in exercise on a regular basis, right?




Jesse Padgett: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think from my perspective, I'm not just a strength and conditioning coach. For me, all the athletes that I work with, my goal is when they graduate, they, one, know how to train safely. Two, they have an idea of how to put a program together for themselves. And three, it's something that they're going to stick with for the rest of their life.


I mean, it's not just a right now kind of a thing. This is trying to set you up for a long, healthy life, and it's a lifestyle education as much as it is trying to be better at your sport.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, that definitely makes sense. Anthony, we talked about putting together a strength training program. What are the best and safest ways to put together and then participate in a conditioning program?


Anthony Bartko: So I'm not going to sit up here and pretend that I know how to write a perfect mesocycle for an off-season program. I will defer to the professionals that have up to a master's degree. And some people, I think, also get their doctorate degree in exercise science about putting these programs together.




Contact, if you're lucky enough to have an athletic or a strength conditioning specialist at your high school, reach out to them because they have accrediting bodies that make sure that they're up on all the most recent research and all the best methodologies to make this a safe and productive program for you.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah. So Jesse, you want to pipe in?


Anthony Bartko: I'm kind of kicking the question to you there, Jesse. Sorry, buddy.


Jesse Padgett: All good. I think when you're putting together, you guys kind of touched on this a little bit earlier, you have to really think about what are you trying to get from training, right? When you think of the cardiovascular system, what's its job, right? It's to remove waste products, transfer oxygen to the body, CO2 back out and regulate some of your PH levels and things like that.




So all those things have an impact on your conditioning. And kind of like Anthony talked about, you might have two athletes that can benefit from speed training. They could be polar opposites. It could be a full-on sprinter to a marathon runner. They can all get the same benefit.


But ultimately for their support, what are their demands? You can't train an up-tempo football offense like you would a cross country team. It just wouldn't go well.


Just like we talked about, all of your focus can't just be in the weight room. Because if you play a sport such as football, we use this as an example because it's coming up this fall and it's pretty popular in Ohio, you have more than one play. So you can't just be explosive for one play. You have to be able to do that play after play after play and for four quarters. So making sure that you're training the proper energy systems, they all play a role.


But if you don't have a great aerobic base, then it's going to impact what you do anaerobically for how long you can do it.




So having all those different things in mind, I think that's why it's really important to reach out to a qualified person just because they're going to view everything in that context. In terms of, well, how do we safely start? How do we progress? How do we get ourselves to where we play the game in the season?


We're already ready to handle the demands. It's not we're getting in shape to play or we're game-shape ready. We're already there. And that alone, I think, will help reduce some of those injuries because the tissue is prepared to handle the demands.


Because at the end of the day, when you play sport, there is a lot of different factors that are going on. Sometimes when you're changing direction, you're handling loads well in excess of what you've been doing in the off season. But by training conditioning year-round, you've prepared your body to handle those demands and it's safer.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah. As a physician who works in emergency departments and urgent cares, when the new sports seasons start, we always see a ton of injuries. Not just acute injuries, but also repetitive use injuries as well, sprains and strains and that sort of thing.




Those can really be, to a degree, prevented by being involved in strength training and conditioning, especially during the summertime. I mean, if you do just sit on the couch and play video games all summer and then all of a sudden you're out running for cross country, it's likely you are going to hurt yourself. Right?


Jesse Padgett: Absolutely. I mean, I think Anthony can probably speak a little bit more to the injury side. But, I mean, I feel like anytime we go from a point of inactivity to actually full on running and sprinting, I feel like you open yourself up to either a hip flexor strain or a quad strain, those kind of things. Just because you haven't prepared to handle a higher intensity demand.


And I think that's one thing that parents and athletes should start to understand that, hey, yeah, this is why it's important to do things not just when August 1st comes around and practice starts.


Like if you've been doing things for two months before, you're not missing the first two weeks of training camp because you didn't do anything and you had a quad string. We're dealing with that year-round or all season because then, when do you find a point to say, okay, well, I can shut it down for a week? Because at that point, it's a little bit too late.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, definitely. Anthony, where can folks find conditioning programs? Are those usually going to be part of their school experience? Do schools offer conditioning programs during the summertime or they have to look elsewhere?


Anthony Bartko: They usually have to look elsewhere. There might be a few outliers that they say, hey, this can be part of it. But usually in schools, there are some strength and conditioning classes where they kind of learn those bases. And I think some of our contracted high schools, some of our strength and conditioning coaches teach that as a class with some of our athletes. Because it's really hard to get 500 kids at a high school through a weight room sometimes if they all need to go on a particular day.


So that kind of lightens the load after school. But as opposed or speaking to the summer, it's pretty much down through just summer conditioning with the high school coaches.




Dr. Mike Patrick: And the coaches, if there are outside programs that are available in a particular community, I would think that your coaches would know about that, hopefully. So they may be a good resource to check. Like if you are looking for more of an official put-together program and your school doesn't offer that during the summer, they at least may be able to point you in the right direction if there is something available.


Anthony Bartko: Yeah. And as well, there's also facilities around Central Ohio that employ certified strength and conditioning specialists. And they will help put your child through a proper strength and conditioning program, but it will come at a pretty penny.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Jesse, what are the pitfalls of participating in strength and conditioning programs? We've talked about the many benefits, but are there risks associated with these as well?




Jesse Padgett: I think it just kind of depends. I think a lot of it goes back to, is the person really qualified? What is their experience? Because I think training in general is pretty safe as long as it's executed in the proper manner, by the right individual.


I think what could be a problem with some of the online stuff is they write workouts and things like that, but do you have access to that equipment? And if you don't, then what do you do? And maybe that's written for a more advanced athlete.


So I think that's the biggest challenge, is just like are you going to a qualified person that's evaluating you and giving you what is appropriate for where you are in terms of training, instead of trying to fit you into a mold that you may not be ready for?


Dr. Mike Patrick: And I would imagine it's important to ramp up slowly with both strength training and with conditioning. Because if you have been sitting around and not very active, and all of a sudden, you're going to be involved in one of these programs and you're really excited and gung-ho, it would be easy to overdo it. And then get those overuse injuries or get a strain or a sprain and then have an issue.




So you really, again, do want someone involved who has experience running one of these programs and can set you on the right pace.


Jesse Padgett: Yeah, absolutely. I know some of the stuff that I personally do is it's called the 50-30-10 rule. In terms of, if it's your first day, we'll reduce the team's overall training volume by 50% for you. So that way you can gradually be introduced and brought up to speed in a safe manner.


Because if you just jump in where everybody else is, you might have crazy delayed onset muscle soreness, which, if you're an athlete that hasn't been doing a lot, that's enough to just not want you to, you may be sure as "No, I'm not going back, I'm so sore, I don't want to do that again."


And then, they never really get through that first week to two weeks, where if you've ran along slowly, yeah, you're going to be sore because you haven't done anything. But it doesn't feel debilitating, you know what I mean? So you can continue to progress in training and not just be completely turned off by it.




Dr. Mike Patrick: And I think that's something important for people to recognize. You mentioned, yeah, you're going to be a little bit sore. That is expected, correct? I mean, you are stretching muscle fibers, using them to a degree that they're not used to being used. And as you stretch them and damage them to some degree, then you're going to build back better.


Jesse Padgett: Absolutely.


Dr. Mike Patrick: That's a real thing.


Jesse Padgett: It is. And even along those lines, I can't stress the importance of the nutrition piece along with it. That has such an impact on soreness and performance. It's just unbelievable.


I talked to so many athletes that skip breakfast and it's just like that's the most important meal of the day. You slept all night, so you've been in a fasted period, and then you wait until lunch to eat again. So, yeah, got to eat.




Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And we have done several episodes on sports nutrition. And I'm going to put a link to some of those in the show notes as well, so folks can find it easily, because you're right, that is really an important part of getting ready for training for sports and then also participating in sports. And so we've done a lot on that, and I'll put some of those links in the show notes as well.


You had mentioned, Jesse, that we have a Sports Performance Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Tell us a little bit more about that program.


Jesse Padgett: Yeah, I think the best way to answer that is kind of go over, as a program, our goals and our philosophy. Our goals are, again, we've touched on several of these, the training needs to be age appropriate and have an education piece to it, to where it is about providing sustainable strategies for health and wellbeing, something that it's a life skill. Along with, obviously, our whole goal is we want to decrease injuries and boost performance and basically support long-term development.




I think those are major things that we're trying to achieve from a goal side. And from a philosophy side, everything is progressive, it's functional, it's movement based. We don't train athletes like bodybuilders, those kind of things. And it's just everything's just well planned, thought out.


And I love our coaches here. I think they do a great job. They're all very smart. We have a lot of experience amongst our staff. We've all been from different backgrounds in terms of we have coaches that have worked at the professional level, Power Five, collegiate, high school, private, you name it. We have a wealth of experience. And I think that's why we do such a good job.


Dr. Mike Patrick: And I'll put a link to the Sports Performance Program at Nationwide Children's in the show notes. So folks can find it and look you up and get more information about exactly what you do and how to get involved with participating in that.


That is just one small piece of what the Sports Medicine Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital is about. Anthony, what are some other things that we ought to know about Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's?




Anthony Bartko: So Nationwide Children's Hospital Sports Medicine is a truly unique program, not just in Central Ohio, but nationwide. Our mission as a hospital is to improve the health of those we serve, right? And then, we like to care for the whole athlete. And we say we do this by practicing a 360-degree care model.


This means that each athlete has a team of qualified professionals comprised of athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, sports nutrition, behavioral health, and as well as sports medicine physicians. Just like you would get at any other Power Five school in the country.


So these practitioners are all expertly trained to care for injuries and conditions that are unique to the pediatric and young adult population. And I think that's just something that's invaluable when you're talking to the health of our young people.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And we'll also put a link in the show notes to the Sports Medicine Program at Nationwide Children's so you can see exactly all the different things that they are involved with. And one of those things is actually having athletic trainers in the schools. I mean, you guys are really in the local community helping kids at the school level, right?




Anthony Bartko: Yeah, we care for all of our high school athletes, our middle school athletes that feed into those high schools, as well as some of our local youth organizations as well. So we are very involved in our communities. We work closely with our strength conditioning coaches that we have at the high school, just like you would at a Power Five school.


So try to say, like, "Hey, Billy's hurt his shoulder. Can he squat?" "Yeah, we got these safety bars. We can go ahead and do this." So it's really cool to work with those professionals.


Dr. Mike Patrick: Yeah, absolutely. And again, we'll put a link in the show notes not only to the Sports Performance program at Nationwide Children's, but also our entire Sports Medicine Program as well. And all of those other resources that I had previously mentioned.


They'll be in the show notes, so folks can find those easily. Once again, Jesse Padgett, certified strength and conditioning specialist at Nationwide Children's, and Anthony Bartko, certified athletic trainer. Thank you both so much for stopping by today.




Jesse Padgett: Yeah, I appreciate it. Thank you so much for having us. I mean, I really enjoyed this. And anybody listening, if you guys have any questions, my email is on Nationwide Children's website. I love talking training. Yeah, anything you got, let me know.


Anthony Bartko: Yeah, thank you so much. I appreciate it. Dr. Mike, this is a great opportunity to shed light on some more things that we do here at Children's Hospital to benefit our young people out here in Central Ohio and across the state. So, thank you.






Dr. Mike Patrick: We are back with just enough time to say thanks once again to all of you for taking time out of your day and making PediaCast a part of it. Really do appreciate that.


Also, thanks to our guests this week, Jesse Padgett and Anthony Bartko, both with Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital.


Don't forget, you can find us wherever podcasts are found, we're in the Apple and Google podcast apps, iHeartRadio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Amazon Music and most other podcast apps for iOS and Android.


Our landing site is You'll find our entire archive of past programs there, along with show notes for each of the episodes, our Terms of Use agreement, and that handy contact page, if you would like to suggest a future topic for the show.


Reviews are helpful wherever you get your podcasts. We always appreciate when you share your thoughts about the program.


And we love connecting with you on social media. You'll find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Simply search for PediaCast.


Also, don't forget about our sister podcast, PediaCast CME. That stands for Continuing Medical Education. It is similar to this program. We do turn the science up a couple of notches and offer free Continuing Medical Education Credit for those who listen.




And it is free Category 1 Credit, CME and CEs, not only for doctors, but also nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and even dentists. And since Nationwide Children's is jointly accredited by all of those professional organizations, it's likely we offer the exact credits you need to fulfill your state's Continuing Medical Education requirements. Of course, you want to be sure the content of the episode matches your scope of practice.


Shows and details are available at the landing site for that program, You can also listen wherever podcasts are found. Simply search for PediaCast CME.


Thanks again for stopping by. And until next time, this is Dr. Mike saying stay safe, stay healthy, and stay involved with your kids. So long, everybody.






Announcer 2: This program is a production of Nationwide Children's. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time on PediaCast.


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