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American Family Children's Hospital

Sports Performance Will Help Athletes Reach Their Full Potential

The American Center features a full-court replica of the Kohl Center court where the Badgers play.Madison, Wisconsin - Athletes come in all varieties – the elite swimmer looking for a slight edge off the starting block, weekend golfers hoping to correct their swing, high school or college teams seeking a solid conditioning program to increase players' endurance and reduce risk of injury.


Wherever they fall on the continuum, the new Sports Performance Program at UW Health at The American Center will offer the complete package to help athletes accomplish their goals and stay in the game. At the helm will be Dave Knight as sports performance program manager.


"We've got the environment, the people and the support services - like nutrition, health psychology, integrative medicine and sports medicine," he says. "All we need from the athlete is motivation and effort."


Knight was an athletic trainer at the UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Clinic where he specialized in helping athletes understand the effect of movement mechanics on injury and return to sport. He brings credentials in athletic training, conditioning and performance, and he'll need every ounce of that preparation as he builds the program virtually from scratch.


"This is an exciting new endeavor for us," he says. "We're known for our sports medicine and sports rehabilitation expertise, but we've dreamed for years of being able to offer performance programs for all types of athletes. Now with the facilities at UW Health at The American Center, we'll have a program that will be second to none in the region."


Dave Knight heads up the UW Health Sports Performance program.The facilities will indeed set the program apart. Highlights include:

  • A full basketball court that's a replica of the court at the UW-Madison Kohl Center
  • An Olympic-length lap pool with reaction time starting blocks
  • 6,000 square-feet of indoor field turf
  • Drop-down netting for baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf
  • A sprint track
  • 3-D motion analysis to assess runners, golfers, cyclists, throwers, jumpers and ACL return to sport.

And that's just indoors. Head outside to use another 7,000 square-feet of field turf, the sand agility area, a medicine ball training wall and the acceleration/deceleration field.


Although the program expects to attract elite athletes from the region, it will offer programming for athletes of any age and any performance level in any sport.


"We hope to form relationships with the athletic programs in area high schools and to work with individuals, organized teams and small groups," says Knight. UW Health at The American Center will open for patient care on August 17, and when it does, Knight plans open houses and educational events so players, coaches, teams and individual athletes can see first-hand what this exciting new environment will offer.

Date Published: 01/05/2015

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