High School Football Implements Egoscue

This article is about a friend/client/colleague of mine, Doug Stebbins.  Doug is an Egoscue Affiliate in the Dayton, Ohio area and has been a longtime proponent of Egoscue and its benefits, not only for those struggling with chronic pain but also looking to gain an edge in their sport.  Great job Doug!

MIAMISBURG — Two football seasons ago, Doug Stebbins was going along as an elementary physical education teacher in the West Carrollton school system when then-West Carrollton football coach Bob Brigati contacted him.

Brigati heard that Stebbins, a Miamisburg native and resident, had undergone instruction and certification in a stretching and training method called Egoscue, which focuses on improving movement and flexibility to boost health and performance.

Brigati asked Stebbins to work with his team, which had finished a combined 1-19 the previous two seasons. Stebbins agreed, and it began has become a de facto second career.

First with West Carrollton and now with Northmont, Stebbins has helped players avoid injuries in one of the most violent sports by teaching them how to increase their flexibility and change directions quickly. His efforts helped West Carrollton win its final four games of the 2008 season, and Northmont coach Lance Schneider has praised the injury-prevention help Stebbins has provided for his team.

Stebbins, 42, continues to be an elementary teacher, which he has done for 20 years, while also working with teams and clients. He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, giving him one of the widest sets of clients and students in the area.

In his words

“Standing around is not an option in my gym.

“People say football causes injuries with the contact, but it’s more about the body coming into the sport not designed as it should be, with imbalances right to left. You have to find balances.

My family owned a plumbing business, but I didn’t really have an interest. I coached seventh- and eighth-grade basketball going through college. I wanted to be a coach, and I worked with Miamisburg and West Carrollton teams over the years. I was teaching to be a coach, but once I stopped, coaching evolved into what I do in PE.

“The trick is to make kids have fun; if you don’t, they’ll stop within a minute. I kind of mask what I do. Like we’ll play Spider-Man tag. It’s a tag game — I let the kids name the games — and they use swimming noodles in each hand going around as taggers. They have fun, and they’re running around.

“I literally just saw a show about (Egoscue) on FitTV, and it had (former NFL players) Junior Seau and John Lynch talking about it. These are guys who had long careers and largely avoided injuries, so I was fascinated. The thought that really hit home was that’s something anybody can do and you don’t need equipment. So I went to California and got the certification.

“We do a ton of single-leg stuff, like single-leg jumps, hopping and leaping. It’s foundation stuff. It’s not a secret, just going back and fixing what maybe people missed to help them be strong in their base.

“One of the reasons I tried (Egoscue) was one of my goals was to run the Columbus Marathon, but had this terrible back pain. So I went to California for the certification and said ‘I want to run a marathon, please help.’ Once I started doing something designed for my posture, the pain immediately went away and I was able to run pain-free for the 2005 Columbus Marathon.

“Strength isn’t everything, it’s best when you mix it with movement. I’d rather have a kid bench 300 than 400 and be dysfunctional.”

I love the work that Doug is doing.  He is changing lives from elementary school, on up.  We need more folks like him in our education system.  Congrats again, Doug!

What’s your favorite way to train? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?