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Ep. 6: Nick Kenney of the Kansas City Royals

In episode 6 of the Cool Cast, Impact chats with Nick Kenney about how cryotherapy, powered by Impact, fits into the Kansas City Royal’s training regimen.

About Nick Kenney:
Nick Kenney is the Head Athletic Trainer with the Kansas City Royals Professional Baseball Organization.

Highlights from this episode:

  • Nick explains why his team decided to implement a cryotherapy machine at the Royal’s training facility. “Obviously, we had a belief in the benefits of cold water immersion — we love the power of water but, you have to have options for your athletes,” notes Kenney. “Not all of our athletes would conform into cold water immersion, and we felt like using Impact Cryotherapy was a good segue to get some benefit of cryotherapy for our athletes, to affect them in ways of decreasing the nerve stress, decreasing inflammation,  revitalizing themselves, and muscle recovery, maybe turning on some hormones and putting them into better sleep patterns.”
  • Muscle recovery is key for the Royals. “We’re always promoting recovery if we possibly can. Our lifestyle in major league baseball is very strenuous. There’s a lot of travel involved in it. There’s a lot of that night game going into a day game. We’ve got the short recovery. We’re always trying to come up with different types of events to promote that for them, whether it be through trying to affect their diet, changing up their exercise routines, really paying attention to their volumes, intensities but we just felt like this was a modality that could affect them and once again, a modality that could affect a different guy in a different way. Not everybody’s the same. Certainly they’re all human beings. Certainly they’re all baseball players but, they have different likes and dislikes. Like I said, there’s some guys can conform to getting into water, and there’s certain great benefit to that but there’s other guys that can’t do that. You sell the process of, hey, we’d like for you to get in anywhere from seven to ten minutes in cold water immersion. We can drop this back and we can go anywhere from one to three minutes. We can build you up so you create a tolerance and start to like it. So, that was kind of a selling tool,” comments Kenney.
  • Cold water immersion vs. cryotherapy – 10 minutes vs. 3. “Guys that would do contrast at the end of the day, that turns into be a 20-minute treatment, just that. We could sit there and say, ‘hey, from start to finish, from the time that you start to get undressed to doing your treatment and get dressed, that’s five total minutes. That means that you got 15 more minutes at home to possibly spend some time with your wife or play with your kids‘ and that’s important to us because there’s an emotional aspect that we have to pay attention to with these players as well,” Kenney adds.
  • Players utilize cryotherapy before and after workouts. “We try to get guys to utilize it as soon as they come in. So, we’re talking pre-activity, right off the street. Walk in, put on your sliders, come get us, take you back, initiate a therapy session. Then, we will try to encourage our players, specifically our position players, to hit that again after they are finished with batting practice. So, we’re hitting position players and our relievers at that time. And then, some guys that don’t hit that one after batting practice, now we’re trying to get them at the end of the game. If we’ve got guys that have sleep issues that we’ve identified, then those are definitely a post-game treatment session, to try to get them at a little bit better patterns.
  • The Impact cryosauna is the Royal’s machine of choice – but why? “We did our research. We looked at quite a few companies and there was just a comfort factor with [Impact]. I think the educational element was very solid. Put it in terms that were acceptable, rather than there’s certainly a lot of science behind it, but it’s about how you explain the science, to where you actually get through to people. Give everybody a sense of what the application can be, how it can be put into play, how you can justify your cost for the benefit that you’re getting. And really, you guys have been, I have to say, you guys have been great with customer service, and I’m real big on that. I’m real big on people that understand what we go through, understand the speed at which we need things to happen, and that’s never been an issue with you guys. So, I appreciate that.”
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