Earlier this summer, I spent some time at the Washington Redskins training camp in Richmond. It was a fantastic experience in a beautiful new facility. On fan day, there were over twenty-five thousand people present at the camp, making for a great experience being on the field. Fortunately, we did not have any major injuries other than your usual hamstrings, ankles, shoulders and contusions that come with playing the game. At any given time, usually half of the players on the field have some sort of issue that needs to be dealt with. I recall this as a player and it still continues to hold true today.
The work that the Redskins training staff does is second to none and this effort keeps the guys on the team going. Larry Hess, the head trainer, runs a great program and is up with his staff at 6:00 a.m. for first treatments, then goes all day and finishes up at 10:30 p.m. with evening treatments. They have the freedom and ability to use a great deal of cutting edge treatments, including whirlpool therapy, pool training, and most notable, dry acupuncture also known as dry needling. It is remarkable to me how many of the players will undergo a dry needling treatment, and then respond/recover quickly from minor injuries such as hamstring strains under the guidance of a well-trained physical therapist.
Most notable during camp was the focus placed on Robert Griffin III. He continued to progress nicely during camp and was constantly taking reps with the team. Being one of the most dedicated and hard working players on the field, he was in the weight room each morning before the team arrived. Later, he’d be found performing drills and getting medical evaluations an hour after all of the other players had already left the field. It was entertaining to watch 20 thousand plus fans hanging around the camp for an additional hour to watch RGIII do more drills, and observe the ongoing progress he has made.
All in all, Redskins training camp was a great experience. I am looking forward to the upcoming football season with excitement, continuing in my relationship with the Washington Redskins and then working again at next years NFL Combines.