About 13 years ago, Steve Antonopulos the head trainer for the professional National Football League (NFL) team, Denver Broncos, noticed that some of the players were seeking outside help for their injuries. They were seeing masseuses, chiropractors and muscle specialists — anyone in addition to the training staff to help keep them healthy.
Antonopulos, who would rather have the players seek help in-house, brought extra help to Denver Broncos headquarters.
“You might as well get the best there is and have it here and keep them here,” Antonopulos said. “That way you control the people coming in and you always know what’s going on with the players.”
The Broncos have two full-time masseuses on staff, and every week they bring in a chiropractor and two muscle healing specialists.
One of the muscle specialists is Dr. Michael Leahy of Colorado Springs, an expert in the soft-tissue massage Active Release Techniques (ART).
Active Release is used not only as a treatment method to address injuries, but also as a screening tool to identify areas that have the potential to become injuries.
Antonopulous checks out the practitioners and their techniques before he allows them to work on players.
“I have to feel comfortable with them,” Antonopulos said. “A lot of times I’ll have them work on me, to make sure what they’re doing.”
How valuable is Active Release Technique to the Denver Broncos? The quarterback, Payton Manning’s contract is worth $92 million over five years. Fair to say a valuable investment.
The adjacent photo shows ART founder, Dr. Mike Leahy with fellow ART practitioner Dr .Gerry Ramogida at the 2014 Super Bowl in New York. Speaks for itself.