As a certified athletic trainer from Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center set up a workout at Independence High School earlier this year, members of the school’s volleyball team talked about their good fortune. The Knights felt like they were getting an edge thanks to Frisco ISD’s partnership with Baylor Scott & White and something called “Fusionetics.”
“I think it’s pretty impressive that our district is doing something like this,” junior Haley Simpson said. “It kind of makes you feel like they’re really invested in what you’re doing.”
FISD is dedicated to the success of each student, and that’s one reason the District is partnering with Baylor Scott & White, which this spring opened its Sports Therapy and Research facility at The Star. Within that facility is a 57,000-square foot Sports Performance Center that utilizes the Fusionetics Performance Healthcare System.
Fusionetics analyzes an individual’s movement efficiency and identifies areas of impairment, providing the data for a personalized corrective exercise plan. Designed to decrease pain, reduce injury, optimize performance and speed recovery, Fusionetics is used by more than 400 professional, collegiate, Olympic and amateur organizations.
Baylor Scott & White is providing the Fusionetics System at no charge to FISD, and during the 2017-18 school year, BS&W trainers have visited high school campuses to introduce coaches and students to Fusionetics. As of April, more than 1,000 students were participating.
“We have an interest in getting in front of the high school athlete as early as we can to help prolong their athletic careers and reduce the chance for a season-ending or career-ending injury,” said Kevin Coats, the General Manager of the Sports Performance Center (SPC). “What Fusionetics can bring definitely addresses the student population and injury prevention. It’s just a natural fit of what we can do to help our community.”
Fusionetics is available to any FISD high school student, not just those competing in athletics. Participation begins with a three-minute Movement Efficiency Screening, done at the campus, that includes single- and double-leg squats.
Students are given a movement efficiency score and a self-care program with suggested exercises. By visiting the Fusionetics website or using the Fusionetics app, students can access their self-care program, track hydration, nutrition and sleep, and also quantify their training load.
“Everybody’s looking for that little edge,” said Dr. Jimmy Laferney, the SPC’s Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Affairs. Fusionetics has been shown to increase performance, he said, and the Fusionetics’ data can be used as a baseline for an athlete’s movement to help assess the progress of recovery from an injury.
“When they get back to that baseline, then we’ll able to say now you can actually go back to play,” Laferney said. “From a physician standpoint, I’m excited about us being involved in that because it hasn’t been done.”
The Reedy High School boys and girls cross country teams began participating in Fusionetics in December, and the runners have already seen results. The athletes have reported that their legs feel much better after workouts, girls coach Becky Craig said.
“I often tell the kids how lucky we are in Frisco to have this as a resource,” Craig said. “This is their expertise, and we have this at our fingertips.”
The partnership with Frisco ISD includes support for athletic pre-participation physicals. BS&W has also assigned each FISD high school a team physician under the guidance of a medical director, and it will provide a concussion expert on the sideline for all varsity football games.
In addition to the Fusionetics assessments, Baylor Scott & White trainers have created dynamic warm-up routines for the teams, as well as stabilization and corrective exercise programs. Community involvement is important to BS&W, Coats said, and he envisions the partnership with FISD extending beyond physical wellness.
The research initiatives at the facility could offer opportunities for FISD students.
“We look to incorporate a collaboration between the School District and their math and science students,” Coats said, “and bring them into the research side of the house and provide either rotations or internships.”
Baylor Scott & White embodies the core values that FISD tries to instill in its students, District Athletic Director David Kuykendall said, including character, integrity, responsibility and service to the community. That makes the partnership a great fit.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to provide this innovative technology and nationally recognized healthcare to our students and athletes,” Kuykdendall said. “Their safety is our top priority.”