Marshall biomechanics expert to conduct medical testing on 300-plus collegiate athletes at NFL Combine

SuzanneKonzDr. Suzanne Konz of the  College of Health Professions, is heading to next month’s NFL Combine to assist in the medical evaluation of more than 300 professional football hopefuls.

Konz, director of the biomechanics laboratory and an associate professor in the college, said this is her seventh year attending the combine to conduct isokinetic testing on collegiate athletes from across the U.S.

“Isokinetic testing is a speed-based test which measures the strength and endurance of a muscle. This type of testing is necessary to determine the stability of the knee and possible longevity of these athletes,” Konz said. “To be invited back for the seventh year in a row gives me the opportunity to build upon my knowledge of these testing devices, which benefits our own athletes here at Marshall University.”

Konz said isokinetic testing was performed on members of the Marshall football, basketball, soccer and baseball teams this past year. Brandi Anders, assistant athletic trainer for the Marshall women’s basketball and tennis teams, said the information provided by the isokinetic testing helps show if the players were at risk for injury or already had an injury, which may need to be addressed further.

“We conducted the test twice: once at the beginning of the semester and again following their pre-season. We compared results to see if the athletes had improved their  muscle balance between the hamstring and quadriceps. Additionally, we will conduct testing following the season and going into their off-season workouts,” Anders said. “Dr. K does an excellent job of explaining the benefits of this testing to the athlete and the gains it can help him or her achieve athletically. By providing these numbers, the athletes can focus more on ways to improve their body and decrease risk of injury moving forward.”

Dr. Gary McIlvain, chair of the School of Kinesiology and associate dean for the college, said many people do not know the benefits of studying biomechanics and how the university has its own expert here on the Huntington campus.

“Dr. Konz and her expertise in isokinetic testing is a valuable resource for the School of Kinesiology programs, our students and campus athletes. Her experience in testing Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes is a resource students seek out when learning to administer and interpret isokinetic testing,” McIlvain said. “There is nothing that brings the classroom to life more than real-life experience and that is exactly what Suzanne Konz brings to those studying biomechanics here at Marshall University.”

Konz will travel to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis Feb. 16-20 for the 2015 NFL Combine. Media are invited to attend an isokinetic testing demonstration at 2 p.m. today, Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the Athletic Training Laboratory located in Gullickson Hall room 209.