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POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 5:30 AM
Filed Under: Kevin Miller | Soccer | Working Out

In preparation for a Major League Soccer season, a lot of time and consideration goes into what the players need to play at such a high level each and every week. As fans, you see the finished product but as coaches we have to assemble a plan that gives our players the best chance for success. During the preseason we have several things to develop—some of the key areas that we focus on are the following:

  • Building a strong aerobic base and alactic energy system
  • Improving movement quality off the ball
  • Building a strong base of strength
  • Implementing a solid nutrition program
  • Focusing on acceleration and deceleration (both with and without the ball)
  • Implementing a recovery plan
  • Stress and fatigue management
  • Assessment and movement screening for each player

It’s naïve to think that every player is going to arrive in camp in great shape. One of the great things about preseason training is that you get to spend quality time (5-6 weeks) on the road with the players and find out where they excel and what areas they may need to improve. Every athlete I have ever met can improve in at least 1-2 areas. As the fitness coach it’s my responsibility to work with the coaching and medical staff to try to identify what areas may be lacking and develop a plan to ensure that every player is progressing towards the end goal—the chance to play at a high level each and every week.

Below are five (5) key fitness/training related areas that we focus on during the preseason:

1. Individual screening, assessments and testing for each player

POSTED: Friday, February 21, 2014, 5:30 AM

No matter how you are involved in athletics, you need to know the dangers that accompany your sport. This Strained Sports infographic will help you digest the mountain of statistics and help you better understand how the injuries stack up against each other from sport to sport.


With the hope of informing, this graphic has the purpose of raising awareness of sports injuries, whether they are minor ankle problems or fatal brain injuries. Because the potential dangers aren’t always at the forefront of discussions, learning about the more serious side of sports will allow you to make an educated decision about participating. Additionally, this infographic can serve as a guide to understand what sort of injuries to watch for by sport.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 5:30 AM

From serious matters like concussions and performance enhancing drugs, to inspiring stories of athletes overcoming the odds, we’ve enjoyed covering the sports and fitness scene in and around Philadelphia in 2013.

What do you hope to see on Sports Doc in 2014?

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

POSTED: Friday, December 13, 2013, 9:30 AM
Filed Under: Kevin Miller | Soccer
Vanilla berry smoothie with walnuts and cayenne.

With the holiday season upon us many people are going to indulge in foods that we know may add a few extra pounds to our waistline. The holidays are about family, friends and food. Most people will tell themselves that they will start their training program AFTER the holidays.

I love to eat around the holidays and I think you should enjoy every appetizer, meal and pie that is served during the holidays. With all of this extra food it’s hard to maintain your weight. Today I am going to share with you one tip that I believe can help you enjoy a second serving of turkey with some apple pie without having to break out a pair of sweatpants(although a pair of Philadelphia Union sweatpants would be a good idea for dinner).

The tip for today is how to make a healthy and delicious smoothie.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 6:00 AM
Filed Under: Justin Shaginaw | Soccer
The United States soccer team. (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Friday’s World Cup 2014 draw was wildly panned by fans of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT), as the team was selected into the foreboding “Group of Death” alongside Ghana, Portugal and Germany for June’s world championships in Brazil.

The matchups alone are enough to give fans apprehension—Ghana, the nation that’s eliminated the USMNT from the last two World Cups, alongside perennial powerhouse Germany and Portugal, who feature one of the world’s best in Cristiano Ronaldo. But the conditions in which the USMNT will play their games offers equal cause for concern.

Over the course of 12 days, the team will travel over 9,000 miles for their three games—more than any other World Cup squad. What’s more, the second of the three games—against Portugal—will be played in Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

POSTED: Friday, October 25, 2013, 9:28 AM
Filed Under: Men | Profiles | Soccer
Jeff Parke for the Philadelphia Union.

Jeff Parke worked for a lifetime to become a professional soccer player. It wasn’t until he’d reached that goal and spent a few years in Major League Soccer (MLS) that he realized just how much it meant to him.

“I can remember the day it happened,” says Parke. “I was still playing in New York, going through some different injuries. We were out to dinner with my girlfriend’s [now Parke’s wife] brother, and we just started talking about different foods and some of my habits. It kind of dawned on me what I’d need to do to take my career to the next level.”

This was back in 2008, when Parke was 26 and single. Now 31, Parke is married with a young daughter and another child on the way. He is back home playing defense for the Philadelphia Union (he was born in Abington and played collegiately at Drexel.) It’s his first year with the Union, but his 10th season in MLS. He attributes his longevity to the changes he made after that fateful conversation.

POSTED: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 8:50 PM
Filed Under: Kevin Miller | Soccer | Working Out

Kevin Miller, strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Union soccer team takes your fitness questions from 1pm to 2pm on October 22, 2013.

On a mobile device? Click here to join the chat.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 6:00 AM

Whenever I see a patient with an ACL tear, they always want to blame something or someone for their injury. The biggest culprit in the blame game seems to be turf fields.

If you’re old enough you might remember the original AstroTurf, and by all means plenty of blame can be placed on it for athletic injuries. But now we have new 3rd and 4th generation turf fields that are much more similar to natural grass. They are used in the NFL, MLB, MLS, and even international soccer matches are being played on them. People still love to blame turf for their injuries. But are there any facts behind these assumptions that more injuries occur on turf than grass?

Research has shown that as the coefficient of friction increases there is an increase in the rate of lower extremity injuries. This means that the more traction you get on the field or court, the higher the risk of injury. The common thought is that turf has more traction than grass and therefore we will see more injuries on turf.

About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Robert Senior Sports Doc blog Editor
Alfred Atanda, Jr., M.D. Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Robert Cabry, M.D. Drexel Sports Medicine, Team physician - U.S. Figure Skating, Assoc. Team Physician - Drexel
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Symetrix Sports Performance, athletic trainer at OAA Orthopaedics
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician for the Phillies & St. Joe's
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Rothman Institute, Head Team Physician - Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon - Flyers
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director - The Center For Sport Psychology, Sports Psychology Consultant - 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Rothman Institute, Team Physician - USA Wrestling, Consultant - Philadelphia Phillies
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Cassie Haynes, JD, MPH Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit LI Certified
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician - Drexel, Philadelphia University, Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Jim McCrossin, ATC Flyers and Phantoms
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales, Pa.
David Rubenstein, M.D. Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center, Team Orthopedist - Philadelphia 76ers
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute, Athletic Trainer - US Soccer Federation
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